The Seychelles President’s upcoming Vietnam visit is expected to promote the cooperation between the two countries, as Seychelles considers Vietnam one of its three priority partners in Asia, along with China and India.

Vietnam and Seychelles established diplomatic ties on August 16, 1979. The two countries have exchanged several high-level visits. Seychelles President Albert Rene visited Vietnam in 1980, while Foreign Minister Jeremie Bonnelarme came to Vietnam in July 1997 to attend the seventh Francophone Summit in Hanoi and Foreign Minister Jean Paul Adam attended the second Vietnam-Africa International Seminar in Vietnam in August 2010.

Ambassador Vu Hac Bong, Presidential Envoy of Vietnam visited Seychelles in August 1979.

The relationship between Vietnam and Seychelles has enjoyed developments in recent years, especially after Seychelles Ambassador to China Philippe Le Gall was officially nominated as non-resident Ambassador to Vietnam in 2009.

The two countries inked several economic, cultural and scientific-technical cooperation agreements in August 2010 and an agreement on visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders in 2011.

They are actively working together to appoint a Seychelles honorary consul in Hanoi.

However, bilateral cooperation is still in the initial stages. At the end of the 1980s, Vietnam sent five agricultural experts to Seychelles , whose performance received high appreciation from the host country.

Currently, about 20 Vietnamese people are working in Seychelles’s tourism and hotels sectors.

Two-way trade between Vietnam and Seychelles stood at about 2.2 million USD last year, of which Vietnam exports were worth around 1.3 million USD, with main products being rice, chemicals and fishing nets.

Seychelles has proposed that the two countries step up cooperation in tourism, fishing, trade, agriculture, environment and maritime transport. It also wants to recruit more Vietnamese workers for the tourism sector.

Seychelles leads seven African investors in Vietnam with eight projects capitalised at 33.6 million USD by June this year, mostly focusing on cement products, plastics, industrial springs and canned food.-VNA