Seychelles supports SADC regional Industrialisation strategy and roadmap
Designated Minister Vincent Meriton, representing President Michel, headed the Seychelles delegation at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Extra-Ordinary Summit discussed issues concerning the Regional Industrialisation strategy and Roadmap, launching of the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area and the launching of negotiations for the Continental Free Trade Area that was held on the 29th April 2015 in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Like all other member states, Seychelles endorsed the SADC Regional Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap (2015- 2063). This decision by the summit entails a structural transformation of the SADC region, as it is recognised that industrialisation is an important driver for the economic development and integration of all countries of the community.
In his intervention Minister Meriton stated that the SADC region in its diversity also comprises of coastal and island states. He expressed his appreciation that the Blue Economy concept was being incorporated in the strategy and roadmap. The ocean has therefore a pivotal role to play in the industrialisation process. The process will have the benefit of integrating ocean based economies in the process. It offers boundless opportunities ranging from tourism, fishing, shipping, renewable energy, oil and mineral extraction, to name a few. It will also address the infrastructural challenges faced by countries like Seychelles, such as the need for greater investment in regional ports and viable shipping networks which are capital in instigating growth in our national economies.
The Summit also discussed the various market integration initiatives, more specifically the launching of the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area and the launching of negotiations for the continental Free Trade Area in June 2015. It was suggested that there was need for coherence in the various negotiations so as not to exert pressure on human and financial resources devoted to negotiating multiple agreements simultaneously – a position which the Seychelles delegation endorsed.
The meeting was also attended by Ambassador Claude Morel, High Commissioner for Seychelles in South Africa and Permanent Representative to SADC, Mr Kenneth Racombo, Director General for Development and Regional Integration, and Mr Jonathan Berlouis, Development Programme Officer from the Department of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Mike Laval and Ms Rudy Rose, Trade Officer from the Department of Finance and Trade.
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