PRESIDENT MEETS WITH BANK OF CEYLON
President James Michel has met with the chairman of the Bank of Ceylon, Mr. Gamini Wickranasinghe at State House this morning. The meeting follows the President’s state visit to Sri Lanka in August this year, where discussions were held to strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries. During the visit the Government of Sri Lanka announced it would extend a credit line to the Seychelles to use in trade and commercial transactions with Sri Lanka, particularly in boatbuilding ventures. It was also agreed that Seychelles and Sri Lanka will share expertise and experience in the fisheries sector.
Mr. Gamini Wickranasinghe said that during his visit to Seychelles, the Bank of Ceylon will consider how it can assist Seychelles in the fisheries and tourism industries. He will be meeting with officials from the Government to discuss the terms of the line of credit. Mr. Wickranasing also said that he will consider the feasibility of potential for the bank’s operations in Seychelles. This proposal had been expressed by the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had said that his government would consider the possibilities of opening a Bank of Ceylon branch in Seychelles.
“We can see the potential and the bank can join in the country’s development efforts. I think we can mutually benefit from this,” said Mr. Wickranasinghe.
During his visit to Sri Lanka, President James Michel had underlined the importance of building a ‘circle of friendship’ in the Indian Ocean. As part of these efforts, the Government is actively engaging with regional partners to improve the cost of trade within the region to combat the rising cost of living across the globe. By linking up with emerging economies of the region, Seychelles can widen its base from which it sources affordable and good quality food products as well as other important products for economic development.
During their visit, the representatives of Bank of Ceylon will be meeting with Government ministries, as well as other banks and the private sector.
Other senior officials from Sri Lanka will be visiting Seychelles for further discussions on cooperation in fisheries, business development and education, in the near future.