Seychelles joins hands with Korea

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Seychelles joins hands with Korea

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Jean-Paul Adam

Korea and the island nation of Seychelles in eastern Africa are discussing specific ways to work together to fight piracy in the Indian Ocean and develop renewable energy, said Jean-Paul Adam, Seychelles’ foreign affairs minister.

“As a nation that is engaged in the Indian Ocean, we see that the area must be a space for development and a space that connects continents but unfortunately, piracy undermines our ability to do so,” Adam said in an interview with the Korea JoongAng Daily yesterday.

He was in town to attend Seychelles’ National Day event held last Friday for the Yeosu Expo and also to meet with Korea’s Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan.

“Korea is a strong shipping nation and Seychelles also depends very heavily on maritime trade and both countries should work together in effectively dealing with piracy.”

The renewable energy sector is also an area in which the two countries can further build up in the future.

“Renewable energy is a way in which islands [like Seychelles] can become more sustainable,” he said.

“Within Seychelles, its potential for renewable energy can in fact eventually become 100 percent in the long-term but we need investment from places like Korea to make it happen.”



What are some ways being discussed between Korea and Seychelles to fight piracy?

Some specific ways in which Seychelles and Korea can work closely together in fighting piracy include, for example, working with the Korean Navy in the region. Also, there is the possibility of having Korean ships visit Seychelles. We’re also already discussing a memorandum of understanding on the transfer of pirates, meaning that those pirates arrested by Korean vessels can be prosecuted in Seychelles. These are our ways in which we will reinforce international efforts in fighting piracy. We alone are currently prosecuting pirates and we have many aircraft based in Seychelles doing surveillance that offer security on board.



What about in boosting the renewable energy sector?

One thing that we’re starting now with Korea is investment in renewable energy. This is going to be a new revolution in Africa because the huge fluctuating fuel prices have badly affected African economies. On the plus side, we have the possibility of really using renewable energy positively. Energy costs a lot more than other countries in island countries and it’s important for us to try to reduce energy cost and we see Korea as a key partner in that process. Korea has a lot of good technology and we already are working toward installing solar energy in Seychelles. We see our country as a testing ground, and when we can show that the technology works in the small market we can upscale it to much larger markets in Africa.
By Lee Eun-joo[angie@joongang.co.kr]

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