June 29, Victoria: Sri Lanka, in an effort to boost business ties with Seychelles, has established branches of major business institutions in Victoria, capital of the island nation.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his three-day official visit to Seychelles declared open the branches of Bank of Ceylon, Sri Lanka Insurance and Mihin Lanka in the capital of Seychelles Saturday (June 28).
Branches of the Bank of Ceylon, Sri Lanka's largest bank by assets, and the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation are located in the Capital City Building on Independence Avenue.
Seychelles President James Michel, Vice President Mr. Danny Faure and the Minister for Community Development, Social Affairs and Sports of Seychelles Mr. Vincent Meriton joined President Rajapaksa for the opening ceremonies.
Bank of Ceylon Chairman Mr. Harsha Abeywickrama and Deputy Manager of Sales of Sri Lanka Insurance Ms. Namalee Silva represented their respective organizations.
The Mihin Lanka office is situated at the Ibrahim Building on Francis Rachel Avenue. The Chairman of Mihin Lanka Mr. Nishantha Ranatunga was present at the opening ceremony.
President Rajapaksa also declared open a new Nawaloka Medical Center at the City Mart Building in Francis Rachel Avenue in Victoria.
Opening of the establishments in the Indian Ocean island state of 90,000 people is expected to facilitate business and promote trade and tourism between the two countries.
Sri Lankan President also opened the High Commission office in Victoria on Friday establishing a permanent diplomatic presence in Seychelles to strengthen bilateral ties.
Opening of the High Commission is a landmark in the bilateral relations between the two countries, Minister for Community Development, Social Affairs and Sports of Seychelles Mr. Vincent Meriton said at the opening.
He said enhancing bilateral relations between the two countries will not only be beneficial to the peoples of the two countries but also for global peace and prosperity.
Seychelles will be a gateway for Sri Lanka to enter the African region, and Sri Lanka will be a gateway for Seychelles to enter Asia, he said.
Seychelles has also announced its plans to open a diplomatic mission in Sri Lanka later this year.
Minister of External Affairs Prof. G. L. Peiris, Minister of Higher Education Mr. S.B. Dissanayake, Monitoring MP of the Ministry of External Affairs Mr. Sajin de Vass, Secretary to the President Mr. Lalith Weeratunga and Sri Lanka's High Commissioner in Seychelles Mr. Rajatha Piyatissa were also present at the opening ceremonies.