By Rola Al Ghoul
DUBAI, 29th March, 2022 (WAM) – The World Government Summit (WGS) is “a platform that gives every government worldwide the possibility to see the direction in which the world is heading,” President Wavel Ramkalawan of Seychelles has said.
In an exclusive interview with the Emirates News Agency (WAM) on Tuesday during the World Government Summit, President Ramkalawan described the summit as “a goldmine available for the whole.”
He noted that the summit dramatically impacts the world’s trends and policies in dealing with the future, stating that the world is trying to move from fossil fuel to sustainable renewable energy sources. “This is the most interesting debate still going on when we’re looking at the future of the economies and digitalisation.”
President Ramkalawan explained that the world is moving in a direction where paper money will no longer be there, adding that the situation in Ukraine is already showing the power of the digital economy.
“The various presentations and debates will also help other governments who have not even started this discussion to address some of humanity’s most urgent issues and challenges,” President Ramkalawan continued.
Asked about the main challenges facing government policies during the coming period, he stated, “As far as Seychelles is concerned, we’re putting emphasis on climate change because we, as small island developing states, are at the forefront. What is happening in the industrialised world affects us directly. The rise in sea level will see, for example, over 50 of our islands facing the danger of simply disappearing. So, climate change is of utmost importance for us to mitigate the changes and protect the environment.
“As a country that is not responsible for the negative effects of climate change as our emissions are next to zero, we want to see a firm commitment from industrialised developing states so they can help us because we are the victims. The polluters should help those affected, and we want to see this balance as well.”
Regarding the UAE-Seychelles relationship, President Ramkalawan described it as “a very good one”.
“We always have this excellent cooperation. We’ve been receiving not only investors from the UAE but also more visitors coming to Seychelles, and our people like coming to Dubai, especially for the shopping experience.”
He added, “We also want to see even beyond that. There are a lot of UAE investments in Seychelles, and new projects are coming up. At the same time, the UAE has been very kind to our country, as we’ve received a lot of grants; for example, right now, we are building a hospital on one of the islands sponsored by the UAE.”
He went on to say that the UAE-Seychelle relations are “in total respect of each other, and this is the way forward.”
The Seychelles President further added that during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UAE dispatched the first batch of vaccines to Seychelles, which helped vaccinate the citizens and reopen its economy.