Strengthening Bilateral Relations; South Africa and Seychelles Focus on Trade and Capacity Building

Dr. Hlamalani Manzini, the High Commissioner of the Republic of South Africa to the Republic of Seychelles, held a productive meeting with Minister Flavien Joubert this afternoon. The Minister was accompanied by the Principal Secretary for the Agriculture Department, Mr. Keven Nancy, the Executive Director for MACCE Ms. Catherina Bonnelame and Mr. Randy Stravens the Chief Biosecurity officer. The discussions centered on enhancing bilateral ties, particularly in trade and capacity building initiatives.

One of the key agenda items was the finalization of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two countries. This MOU, spearheaded by the Department of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with representatives from the Agriculture Department, focuses on exchange programs, capacity building, and ensuring food security in the country. Both parties acknowledged the exceptional quality of South African agricultural products but identified challenges in the trading route that hinder efficient commerce.

Minister Joubert emphasized Seychelles’ commitment to strengthening relations with South Africa. However, he raised concerns about the logistical challenges hampering the movement of goods within the region. To address this issue, the Ministry, with the support of the High Commissioner’s office, expressed the need for direct engagement with shipping companies to optimize connectivity and trade routes.

Despite the obstacles, Minister Joubert underscored Seychelles’ unwavering dedication to biosecurity, particularly in light of recent incidents such as the infestation of the Green Leaf beetle on Golden Apple trees. Ensuring the integrity of Seychelles’ ecosystem remains a top priority for the government.

In conclusion, both parties reaffirmed their commitment to collaboration and pledged to work closely together to address the challenges hindering bilateral trade and cooperation. The Ministry will coordinate efforts with the Department of Foreign Affairs to ensure timely resolution of all pertinent matters, fostering a mutually beneficial partnership between South Africa and Seychelles.

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