India, Seychelles sign two agreements

June 2nd, 2010 - 8:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, June 2 (IANS) India and the Seychelles Wednesday signed two economic agreements as the visiting president of the Indian Ocean nation James Michel invited Indian firms to invest in diverse sectors ranging from fishing and oil exploration to hospitality.
The Seychelles president held formal talks with the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the afternoon, after which they signed two deals. Michel arrived Tuesday night on a three-day state visit.

“We have signed the Non Double Taxation Agreements with several countries. We have also today signed a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement with India,” Michel said at an interaction with captains of Indian industry here.

Delineating the areas of possible economic cooperation, Michel listed industrial fishing, renewable energy, eco-tourism projects in outer islands, retail sector and Information Technology.

“Seychelles’ geographical position in the middle of the Indian Ocean, on the sea routes from Asia to Africa and the Middle East, give us a very strong commercial and business advantage over our neighbours,” said Michel.

He pointed out that his small Indian Ocean nation was also member of several regional groups and would therefore provide investors “access to vast regional and African markets, like Egypt, South Africa and Kenya”.

But he urged that more linkages be established between Seychelles’ capital Victoria and Indian cities.

“Flights between these Indian cities and Mahé (Seychelles’ main island) can be established. The business communities of both countries can exchange visits on a more frequent basis and for mutual benefits,” said Michel.

The Seychelles president said that negotiations will take place for a Bilateral Air Services Agreement later this month, which will “surely open the window to the increase in exchanges between our two countries for business, greater people to people contacts and tourism”.

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