The East3ROUTE is a cross-border initiative by the governments of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland and Seychelles which showcases the investment appeal of these four regions, as well as boost tourism and inter-trade.
Seychelles will hold a seminar in July and it will be the first time the country holds such event.
The investment seminar has, over the years, become the highlight for an East3ROUTE expedition, with the quality of players it has been able to attract and the level of engagement and investment opportunity that has been tabled. It provides a platform for discussions and debate, thus showcasing investment and trade opportunities in each of the four partner regions.
It gives delegates an opportunity to touch, taste and experience the various product offerings that each member country has to offer.
3ROUTE was launched on September 26, 2011 as a tripartite economic and tourism initiative featuring the three African countries mentioned and Seychelles was accepted as the fourth partner in February 2013, following the success of the initiative.
A major part of this initiative is tourism excursion (by road) which currently involves Swaziland, Mozambique and South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal province).
The route was conceptualised taking into account the needs of each region and opportunities for product development that would have a positive impact and leave a lasting legacy for the communities through which the expedition passes. The goal is mainly to promote eco-tourism development, capitalising on the region’s exciting topographic landmarks with a common cultural heritage.
Guest of honour at last weekend’s event was the Seychelles Minister for Investment, Entrepreneurship Development and Business Innovation Michael Benstrong; Neville Matje, general manager in the chief executive officer’s office of trade & investment KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and other distinguished guests.
Minister Benstrong remarked on the benefits Seychelles will gain from this initiative which will provide the destination management companies with the opportunities to further network and develop their brand within this initiative. Consequently package group destinations can be created in the once in a lifetime opportunity for tourists.
Additionally the East3ROUTE is actively marketing the Seychelles islands as a holiday destination within the initiative.
In terms of corporate service provider, this will provide a platform whereby they can expand their products and services into mainland Africa as they will benefit from global taxation exemption.
The initiative will also provide the opportunity for the country to further develop trade partnership as Seychelles is increasingly searching for new trade partners for the importation of goods.
The route will also help us in the development of the Blue economy concept.
In his address Mr Matje explained the purpose of the investment seminars which act as a stimulus for economic activity and which create a dialogue between economic players. Attendants are government decision-makers, heads of industries, investors and local businesses. The Seychelles Investment Board is the anchor driver in Seychelles assisted by the Seychelles Tourism Board.
The seminar is held on a rotation basis among member states and Seychelles will be holding it for the first time in July this year.
Mr Matje also talked on the East3ROUTE exhibition which was introduced in 2013. It has four pavilions representing the four member countries which offer opportunities for companies to exhibit their products and services.