The European Union provides new support to Seychelles regional economic integration
A team obtrude experts are in Seychelles this week to meet with public and private stakeholders. Their mission:to define the actions under a new project of seven million euros in support of Seychelles for the implementation of the interim Economic Partnership Agreement signed with the European Union in 2009
The experts will identify gaps/bottlenecks that may act as obstacles to the country meeting its obligations and fully benefit from the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (iEPA) or that may hamper Seychelles' regional integration process. The experts' mission will, more specifically, identify immediate needs for legal and institutional reforms, as well as for capacity building, be it technical or material, to implement the iEPA, and propose an action plan to address these needs.
Mrs Sall, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Seychelles, stated:
"This new 7 million euros iEPA project comes at a very opportune time. Given the link between trade, development and growth, the project will assist the country in achieving its short to medium term targets to sustain economic growth through expansion of trade opportunities available for the private sector. As of today, several project proposals have been identified both by government and by the private sector. The experts will hold discussions with all stakeholders with a view to identify the most appropriate iEPA support mix. The European Union will work closely with both government and the private sector to ensure the prompt preparation of this new project."
Ambassador Loustau-Lalanne, National Authorising Officer/ Principal Secretary for Foreign Affairs, complimented Ambassador Sall’s statement by highlighting that the Government is currently focusing on the enhancement of Seychelles’ micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).
“We need to reap maximum benefits of the bilateral and multilateral agreements signed, including the iEPA, with the view of promoting not only sustainable but inclusive growth.” Ambassador Loustau-Lalanne also noted the timely arrival of this assistance as we pursue key institutional reforms and as we embark on the formulation of our first ever MSME Development Strategy and Implementation Plan.
The report of the experts will be presented to all stakeholders later during the year. The project is expected to start in 2017/2018.
In 2009, the European Union signed an interim Economic Partnership Agreement (iEPA) with Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius and Zimbabwe, which came into provisional application since 2012. This marked a fundamental step in the direction of trade liberalisation. The iEPA process is intended to support existing regional integration processes, trigger reforms, develop trade and promote inclusive and sustainable development.
In July 2015, the Government of Seychelles together with the European Union signed an agreement in the amount of 760 000 euros – financed from the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) - to support Government in addressing the immediate needs arising from the iEPA process. Several trade-related entities, both from the public and the private sectors, are currently benefitting from the funds.
The new 7 million euros project in support to the interim EPA is funded under the 11th EDF Regional Indicative Programme for Eastern Africa, Southern Africa and Indian Ocean.
The mission of the trade experts is funded with the support of the European Union.
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