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Cambodia to up trade ties with Seychelles

Cambodia signed six agreements yesterday with the Republic of Seychelles in an unexpected move to boost trade relations with Africa’s smallest nation.

Jean-Paul Adam, foreign affairs minister for the Republic of Seychelles, and several high-ranking Cambodian government officials attended yesterday’s signing in Phnom Penh.

“I think we share a common opportunity of our economic side by strengthening people-to-people contact,” Adam said. “Seychelles is a country that depends very much on import so we are looking [for a] country like Cambodia to boost our food security to be able to import quality of product.”

The Republic of Seychelles is an archipelago of about 115 islands spread over 1.3 million square kilometres in the Indian Ocean, lying 1500 kilometres east of mainland Africa with a population of more than 88,000. The country’s key industries are tourism and tuna exports, according to the World Bank.

The six signed documents that included a pledge to establish bilateral consultation between both countries’ ministry’s of foreign affairs, cooperation in tourism and agriculture development, and an agreement to extend bilateral aviation services.

“Seychelles have some problems in food security,” Ouch Borith, acting minister of foreign affairs said yesterday, citing the island nation’s need to feed a tourist population three times larger than its own.

“Local supply cannot answer the need of foreign tourist so the country needs imports and Cambodia can supply this.”

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