President James Michel traveled to Spain today to undertake a 2-day official visit at the invitation of HE Mr. José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, President of the Government of the Kingdom of Spain.
The President will be accompanied by the Minister for Home Affairs, Environment, and Transport, Mr. Joel Morgan; the Secretary of State in the Office of the President, Mr. Barry Faure; the Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Tourism Board, Mr. Alain St. Ange, who is also an ambassador for eTurboNews; and the Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association, Ms. Jenifer Sinon.
On Tuesday, the President is scheduled to meet Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. The President will also have an audience with His Majesty, King Juan Carlos I of Spain.
Discussions are expected focus on the ongoing cooperation programs mainly in the fields of defense cooperation, fisheries, tourism, trade, and investment.
President Michel has highlighted that Seychelles and Spain have strong economic ties in the fisheries sector, as the majority of EU vessels fishing in Seychelles waters are Spanish.
Mr. Michel noted that the two countries are determined to ensure that this vital industry is protected from the scourge of piracy.
“Spain is an important partner in security cooperation in the region, through its participation in the EU Atalanta operation. We have been working closely on the coordinated approach to fighting piracy. Our bilateral cooperation will continue to grow alongside increased commercial and investment links,” said President Michel.
The official visit is also the opportunity to enhance the commercial and trade ties between the two countries as the delegation from Seychelles Tourism Board and the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association will also be undertaking discussions with its counterparts during the President’s visit.
“The Spanish traveler does not know enough about Seychelles, and this visit will be an opportunity to tap the potential of the Spanish market for the Seychelles tourism trade. We need to explore new ways to encourage Spanish tourists to Seychelles,” President Michel stated.
This is the President’s first official visit to Spain and it is expected to strengthen the excellent relations between the two countries.