Remarks by H.E Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, Minister of Foreign Affairs on the occasion of the opening of Seychelles Consulate General in Shanghai Monday 13th October 2014
Ambassador Philippe Le Gall,
Acting-Head of the Consulate General, Dr. Sidney To,
Representatives of the Foreign Affairs Offices of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui Provinces,
Members of the Shanghai Consular Corps,
Ladies & gentleman,
It is an honour for me to participate in the official opening of Seychelles Consulate General in Shanghai, the consulate having also jurisdiction over Anhui, Zhejiang and Jiangsu Provinces. I am very happy to share this historic moment with you.
First, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Government of the People’s Republic of China for having graciously accepted our proposal to open a Consulate General in Shanghai, and to the Shanghai Municipal Government for having supported our request. Special thanks to Shanghai Foreign Affairs Office for its precious assistance.
Let me also say thank you to Ambassador Philippe Le Gall, to Dr. Sidney To and to the staff of both the Embassy in Beijing and the Consulate General in Shanghai, for their efforts in making this opening possible./
And I am glad to see here today many good friends of Seychelles and a group of Seychellois students. Thank you All!
Ladies and gentleman,
We opened our Embassy in Beijing in 2007. At that time, Seychelles was receiving an average of 500-1000 tourists from China each year. Today I am proud to confirm that we welcomed our 10,000th Chinese visitor last month. With this ongoing trend, we may reach 15,000 by the end of this year. It would mean an increase of 90% in tourist arrivals compared with last year and we strongly encourage more Chinese visitors to discover Seychelles and feel at home in Seychelles !
On the other hand more and more Seychellois are visiting Shanghai now as Seychellois Nationals no longer need a visa to enter China on leisure or business trip. Shanghai, both as an economic hub and a cultural hub, is proving a very popular destination among Seychellois who appreciate the warm sense of hospitality and competitiveness this region is famous for.
Indeed we have a special connection with this part of China since we participated in the Shanghai World Expo in 2010 and donated a pair of Giant tortoises to Shanghai Zoo, as a symbol of long lasting friendship. /
We have also signed agreements with the Shanghai Tourism College, with Union Pay International, with Shanghai Internet Economy Consulting Center, to name a few, and we are planning to open an Investment Bureau at the African Center, operated by Touchroad International Holdings./
Earlier this afternoon, I had exchanges with H.E. Vice Mayor Tu Guangshao, as a follow up of my last visit to Shanghai and Vice Mayor Tu Guangshao’s visit to Seychelles last year, same time as a delegation from CCPIT. Both sides confirmed their willingness to consolidate friendship and enhance cooperation. On that occasion, I stressed the point that Seychelles is not only a magnificent and totally safe tourist destination, among the most beautiful in the world, but also a peaceful, stable and competitive access gate to Africa and its huge market and economic resources.
Let me add that we have currently 10 students in various Universities in Shanghai and several more in the other provinces falling under this jurisdiction. I concur with Dr. To : the doors of the Consulate General are always open to you dear students. Please do not hesitate to come to us for any assistance./
Ladies & gentleman,
To conclude, let me propose a toast to the success of our Consulate General, to its positive interactions with the Foreign Affairs Offices of Shanghai, Jiangsu, Anhui and Zhejiang, as well as with other consular posts in Shanghai, and finally to the next stage of Seychelles-China Relations
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