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Minister of Fisheries and the Blue Economy attends the Belt and Road Initiative, Explores Collaboration Opportunities

The Minister of Fisheries and the Blue Economy, Designated Minister, Jean-François Ferrari represented Seychelles in Beijing, People’s Republic of China, at the High Level Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) conference. The Designated Minister was accompanied on his visit by the Director General for Fisheries, Ms. Sheriffa Morel.

The delegation had the honour of participating in the opening ceremony of the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, hosted personally by President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People. This prestigious event brought together leaders and representatives from across the globe and Designated Minister Ferrari played a prominent role by delivering a statement at the thematic forum on maritime cooperation. His address emphasised the significance of international collaboration in the maritime sector, underlining Seychelles’ commitment to sustainable practices and shared responsibility in the protection and management of marine resources.

On the sidelines of the BRI, the Honourable Minister had the opportunity to engage in productive discussions with the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Tang Renjian. These talks provided a platform for dialogue on sustainable fisheries practices and aquaculture, and paved the way for potential future cooperation between our two countries.

In addition, the delegation met with representatives from the China Overseas Fisheries Association. Discussions centred on potential collaborations aimed at promoting responsible fishing practices and sustainable resource management.

As testament to the cultural and historical ties between Seychelles and China, the delegation visited the National Maritime Museum of China. The purpose of this visit was to explore the possibility of establishing a maritime museum in Seychelles, which would preserve and showcase maritime culture and heritage, ultimately deepening the bond between the two nations.

Furthermore, the delegation held a crucial meeting with the National Marine Data and Information Service in Tianjin, exploring avenues for cooperation in the sharing of essential marine data and information, vital for responsible marine resource management. Minister Ferrari emphasised on his desire to see Seychelles becoming a ‘Centre of Excellence’ in marine research and science.

To round off the visit, the Seychellois delegation had the privilege of calling upon the Ambassador of Seychelles to the People’s Republic of China, Mrs. Anne Lafortune. The purpose of the meeting was to provide the Ambassador with a comprehensive briefing of the visit.

The delegation’s participation in the BRI and subsequent engagements marks a significant step forward in enhancing the relationship between Seychelles and the People’s Republic of China and paving the way for future collaborations.