Seychelles Current Affairs - 2019
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Seychelles, an archipelago of 90000 inhabitants became the 161st member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). It is one of the smallest nations among the WTO members.
This approval by WTO ended Seychelles 20-year long wait to become a member of WTO since it had applied for WTO membership in May 1995.
Seychelles also became the 33rd government to accede to the rules-based multilateral trading system through Article XII negotiations since the WTO was established in 1995.
The President of Seychelles, James Michel had signed the legal instrument for the island nation to the WTO on March 25, 2015 a day after the accession protocol was ratified by the Seychelles National Assembly.
As per the WTO rules, the 30-day countdown to its WTO membership was activated on March 27, 2015 and Seychelles officially became a WTO member on April 26, 2015.
It should be noted that the Protocol of Accession was signed by former Seychelles’ Minister of Trade, Finance and Investment Pierre Laporte and WTO Director General (DG) Roberto Azevedo.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Seychelles as part of three-nation tour for cementing strategic partnership with island countries of Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka.
Narendra Modi is first Prime Minister to visit Seychelles in 34 years. Previously, late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had visited the country in 1981.
- Both nations agreed to set up joint working group to promote ocean based economy i.e. on Blue Economy. In this regard, India committed to provide all help to Seychelles.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced free visa on arrival (VoA) and free visas for three months facility to the citizens of Seychelles.
- Four agreements and MoUs were signed between both the countries. They were signed in the fields of renewable energy, hydro graphic survey, electronics navigation and infrastructure development at the island of Seychelles.
- These agreements and MoU’s were signed by Secretary (West) Navtej Sarna from Indian side in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of Seychelles James Alix Michel.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi also inaugurated a Coastal Surveillance Radar system (SSRS). The surveillance system has set up in Seychelles with the help of India.
- India also announced to provide 2nd dossier aircraft to the island nation to enhance maritime security.