Cabinet Business - Wednesday 13th September 2023
14 September 2023
President Wavel Ramkalawan, chaired a scheduled meeting of the Cabinet yesterday, Wednesday 13th September in which a number of legal and policy memoranda were approved.
Cabinet approved the draft Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Türkiye and the Government of the Republic of Seychelles on Trade and Economic Cooperation. The Agreement provides scope for better bilateral cooperation and exchange of information in relation to trade and economic matters between the two countries. Through the Agreement, the two governments will seek to strengthen cooperation in the fields of Trade, Investment, Agriculture and Livestock Development; Fisheries; Energy and Mineral Resources, Industry and Small-Medium Sized Enterprises Development; Science and Technology; Tourism Development; Human Resources Development, and Intellectual Property Rights. Cabinet also approved for Seychelles to enter into a Custom Cooperation Agreement with the Government of the Republic of Türkiye as a means of enhancing communication, capacity building and exchange of information between Seychelles and Türkiye Customs Authorities. This will play an important role in trade facilitation and border control, by eliminating inefficiencies and improving cross border coordination and security.
Cabinet was updated on developments and progress relating to Seychelles Multilateral Agreement with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and Regional Agreements with Southern African Development Community (SADC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Cabinet appreciated that Seychelles has seen significant benefits of engaging commitments in Trade Agreements, such as increased Market access to International Markets for Seychelles’ exports, as well as favourable importing conditions. The Trade Agreements signed by Seychelles are based on the principles of Transparency, Non- Discrimination, Trade Facilitation, Code of Good Practice and Ease of Doing Business.
Cabinet also approved the national Industrial Policy 2023 – 2028. The new Industrial Policy aims at promoting a sustainable economic transformation by diversifying into higher value added and green industries that offer attractive employment for Seychellois.The new Industrial Policy looks to support the country’s agenda to diversify and enhance its economic resilience.
Cabinet approved the proposal to amend the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, 2022 to permit the President to designate any other relevant statutory body as an approved authority for requesting mutual assistance in criminal matters from other jurisdictions. The Act creates a framework that provides for how mutual assistance can be rendered or requested by Seychelles from or to other countries in order to assist each other in the investigation and prosecution of serious criminal offences. Currently, the Office of the Attorney General is the only designated Authority with the power to make and respond to requests for mutual assistance in criminal matters.
Cabinet was briefed on the increasing practice of importation of commercial goods through the Passenger Arrival Terminal instead of through the designated Airport Cargo Terminal facility. Cabinet raised concerns about the impact of this practice on border control management and the resulting direct and indirect security risks. The importation of commercial goods through passenger arrival terminal is also causing congestion at the airport and additional costs to transport commercial goods from the airport to other facilities under Customs control for processing. Following this Cabinet approved new measures to manage and curtail this practice.
Cabinet approved amendments to the legislative provisions on 13th month pay under the Employment Act (Cap 69) for the years 2023 to 2025.
Cabinet approved the New Business Model for the Seychelles Postal Services (SPS).The new strategy seeks to re-position the SPS as a key logistics player in the region, facilitating local and international e-commerce and using the already available network of airline connectivity to bring economic development for the country and improved services for the citizens.