The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam, met the secretary of state of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Mam Amnot, on October 16, 2014, following the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) in agriculture and related fields between Seychelles and the Kingdom of Cambodia, underscoring the growing relationship between the two nations.
Minister Adam acknowledged the signature of the MoC as key to unlocking the potential for trade between the two countries. As a net importer, Seychelles welcomes the proposal for the importation of non-tariff Cambodian products.
Minister Adam equally expounded on the potential to deepen trade between the two countries, both in terms of Cambodia’s expertise in agricultural management and richness of agricultural produce.
The tourism sector was identified as a source through which agricultural trade could be increased, as demand for fresh produce is on the rise, as is interest in exotic cuisine.
Seychelles could assist the Kingdom of Cambodia in increasing the size of its export market – particularly in terms of its rice exportation – through international exposure afforded by locally organised events notably the Carnaval International de Victoria. Seychelles would thus act as hub to other markets on the African continent.
Furthermore, Seychelles looks forward to engaging in the exchange of expertise in the field of aquaculture for the mutual benefit of both countries.
Mr Amnot affirmed Cambodia’s satisfaction with signing the MoC: “Agriculture is a key element to the development of our country and prosperity of our peoples. Areas of cooperation focus on small scale farming, market gardening etc, which would ultimately improve productivity and also encourage livestock rearing and crop for local consumption. All of these would ensure food security whilst generating income and improving nutritional conditions for our people,” remarked the Cambodian secretary of state.
The MoC provides a vast pool for cooperation, including the exchange of materials and information, exchange of scientists, experts and trainees, organisation of events, and for the conduct of marketing facilitation activities among others.
The meeting also provided a platform for Cambodia to express its interest in signing a memorandum of understanding on fisheries with Seychelles, with the hope that it benefits from the experience that Seychelles has in the fisheries sector.
Minister Adam also met the Minister for Tourism of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Dr Thong Khon, where they discussed how the MoC in agriculture and related fields between Seychelles and Cambodia would provide the impetus for the deepening of cooperation in the tourism sector and serve to boost tourism development in both countries.
In the same vein, Cambodia has expressed its wish to benefit from Seychelles’ experience in the development of coastal tourism, with a view to ensure its sustainable path towards tourism development.
On behalf of the Minister for Tourism of Seychelles, Alain St Ange, Minister Adam presented Dr Khon with an invitation to take part in next year’s Carnaval International de Victoria.
Having initialed various agreements in Phnom Penh, both sides expressed their desire to establish a joint commision in Cambodia.