Bahrain, Seychelles discuss post-COVID-19 challenges, tourism and technology
Economic challenges post-COVID-19 were discussed between the two island states of Bahrain and Seychelles on Tuesday.
The newly accredited Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Bahrain told reporters that tourism, telecommunications and commerce are other areas his country hopes to develop further with Seychelles.
Sheikh Khalid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa spoke after presenting his credentials to President Wavel Ramkalawan at State House.
According to Al Khalifa, it is important for the two countries to work together to tackle economic challenges during and after COVID-19.
“I think the economic challenges is number one and I think there is a plan for both countries to work economically and in the tourism sector. Bahrain is always supporting friends and his majesty has always had good relations with Seychelles,” said the Ambassador.
Tourism is another strong area for cooperation, as Al Khalifa said both countries are island states and have a lot in common.
The conversation also touched on technology. “Telecommunications is very important and the president is keen to have the two companies in Bahrain and here to work with each other. I think this is a big support,” he added.
Al Khalifa said that his country is keen to also work with the private sector. “In terms of the private sector, today I will have a meeting with the ministry of finance minister and there are a lot of topics which we will discuss, a lot of cooperation between Seychelles and bank of Bahrain.
After meeting with the president, the Ambassador also paid a courtesy call to Vice President Ahmed Afif. During his visit Al Khalifa will also meet with officials at the Ministry Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Trade and with the Seychelles Chamber for Commerce and Industries, to discuss the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the chambers of the two countries.
“There will be a memorandum signing in the coming future I am having the draft which we discussed earlier but then we will let the two chambers of commerce meet with each other and sign,” added the Ambassador.
A press communique from the Foreign Affairs and Tourism Ministry said Minister Sylvestre Radegonde discussed potential new fields of cooperation such as tourism with the new Ambassador, where the Seychelles Tourism Academy could explore the possibility of establishing a partnership with hospitality training centers in Bahrain.
Al Khalifa on his part, also proposed cooperation in the military fields, in particular, to provide training courses for the Seychelles Coast Guard. The Ambassador will base in Abu Dhabi.
Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean — and the Kingdom of Bahrain established diplomatic ties in May 1983. Last year in January, following a state visit to Bahrain by the former head of state – Danny Faure – a visa waiver agreement was signed between the two countries allowing a Seychellois holding diplomatic, special and official passports to Bahrain without a visa.
In 2019, Al Salam bank became the first bank in Seychelles to offer Islamic Sharia-compliant products and services. Al Salam Bank Seychelles is owned by Al Salam Bank of Bahrain, which owns 70 percent of the shares while a local company, Seychelles Pension Fund, owns 30 percent. The bank is located in the capital city, Victoria.