Bank of Ceylon to extend wings to Seychelles
Bank of Ceylon, in its quest to expand its global foot print is
looking at opening a branch in Seychelles. The bank hopes mainly to woo
the fisheries and the tourism segment in the country. Dr. Gamini
Wickramasinghe, Chairman, Bank of Ceylon who met Seychelles President
James Michel at the State House in Seychelles during the visit also
discussed this proposal while the BOC team spoke with officials of
government ministries, other banks and the private sector. The meeting
follows the President’s state visit to Sri Lanka in August this year,
where discussions were held to strengthen economic cooperation between
the two countries.
Dr. Gamini Wickramasinghe,
Chairman, Bank of Ceylon with
Seychelles President James Michel
at the State House in Seychelles
During the visit, the government pledged to extend a credit line to
the Seychelles for trade and commercial transactions with Sri Lanka,
particularly in boat-building ventures.
This proposal was mooted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who said
that the government would explore the possibility of opening a Bank of
Ceylon branch in Seychelles. Dr. Gamini Wickramasinghe said that during
his visit to Seychelles, the Bank of Ceylon will consider how it can
assist Seychelles in the fisheries and tourism industries. He will meet
officials from the government to discuss the terms of the line of
“We could exploit the potential and the bank could join in the
country’s development efforts. I think we can mutually benefit from
this,” said Dr. Wickramasinghe.
In June, Waven William, High Commissioner of the Republic of
Seychelles in Delhi accredited to Colombo revealed in Colombo that the
Development Bank of Seychelles, the main financial institution in
Seychelles with long term lending facilities in all areas of the
Seychelles economy, is looking at banking partnerships with Sri Lanka.
In 2011, Sri Lanka’s exports to Seychelles stood at $ 0.83 million while
imports were at $ 1.64 million.
Main products exported from Sri Lanka, include tea and fishing
vessels. We also believe that gems and jewellery, furniture, boats and
plastic products have export potential in the Seychelles market. Foreign
Minister of Seychelles Jean Paul Adams who was in Sri Lanka last April,
said Sri Lanka has become the shipbuilding hub for Seychelles.
He also informed that Seychelles is keen to have joint holiday
packages with Sri Lankan travel firms combining Seychelles beaches and
Sri Lanka’s scenic tea hills for tourists from Seychelles and the Dubai
hub. Seychelles Foreign Minister Jean Paul Adams who arrived in Sri
Lanka last Friday has expressed desire to purchase long liner fisheries
craft from Sri Lanka and share technology on building leisure boats. The
talks have also focused on cooperation in combating maritime piracy.
Seychelles and Sri Lanka established diplomatic relations in 1988.