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Seychelles seeks stronger biz ties with India

Victoria: Seychelles, an African country located in the mid-western part of the Indian Ocean, has sought greater business cooperation with India, especially in the field of energy and technology.

In these times of unsustainable energy prices, it is clear that India and Seychelles have a lot to offer each other — both in developing renewable energy and also "exploring all the possibilities of a potential oil find in our waters", said Seychelles Finance, Investment and Trade Minister Pierre Laporte.

Speaking at a meeting of India-Seychelles Business Forum on Sunday night, he said that in a few months, the strategically located island republic will be connected to a new state-of- the-art undersea fibre optic cable that will open up a host of opportunities in the services and online sectors.

"Our new connection will in fact make Seychelles one of the countries with the highest bandwidth per capita in the world", Laporte said at the meeting which was also addressed by Indian President Pratibha Patil.

The President is on a two-day visit to the country and will leave for South Africa tour starting on Tuesday. Laporte said, "We look forward to being able to work with partners from India in exploring numerous options to make best use of this technological breakthrough.

"This includes the possibility for numerous improvement in financial services, secretarial and back office support services, digital warehousing and many others", he said.

Laporte thanked India for its "invaluable" support to Seychelles in the fight against piracy. "Excellency, trade also depends on creating a safe space for trade. The support of India in the fight against piracy has been invaluable and I reiterate once again thanks of our government for India` unwavering support on this matter", he said. .

Against the backdrop of the menace posed by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean, India had said on Sunday that it was determined to work with Seychelles to ensure a secure environment for the benefit of the two countries.

Noting that the strategically located Island Republic of Seychelles falls in the seaways of the global trade route, Patil had said, "We are determined to work with the Government of Seychelles to ensure a secure environment for the mutual benefit of our peoples".

The Republic of Seychelles is an African country located in the mid-western part of the Indian Ocean. With a population of just 90,000 plus, it has a group of 116 islands of which about 15 are inhabited.

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