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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 credit.

“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.

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