08.11.06

Seychelles quitting and rejoining SADC

Posted in International Organisations at 1:59 pm by Robert Klien

It goes without saying that the Seychelles is different from most member states of this organization in many ways – not only geographically, but also economically. For example, Seychelles Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is only 0.7 million USD while total GDP of the region is almost USD 300 million. In 2004 (the year it quit SADC), GDP per Capita in the Seychelles was the highest among the member states – USD 8,348 (the average was just USD 1,985).

Also, a small amount of Protocols in SADC signed by the Seychelles reflects its little activity in the organization.

However in 2006, in his Budget Address the President James A. Michel emphasized that the Seychelles is increasingly active in international relations and “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a key role to play in defending and promoting Seychelles’ interests in an increasingly globalised world.” This is why the Seychelles is going to rejoin SADC in 2006.

It seems likely that the Indian Ocean island will solve its problem with SADC, including membership payments, and will be able to actively promote its financial interests in the region through the Southern African Development Community. Previously, there was little justification for spending 550 000 USD, while the state was undergoing difficulties with the shortage of foreign exchange. Now, the Seychelles economy has improved and its new foreign policy contains plans to rejoin SADC as South Africa has a significant market for Seychelles products.

Country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already allocated a budget of 1.9 million USD for the preparations for Seychelles re-entry into SADC.

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