The visit promotes an increasingly dynamic and substantive bilateral relationship

The visit to Vietnam by the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio marks the first time that the two countries have exchanged delegations at the head of state, and took place on the occasion of the two countries’ 40th anniversary of establishing foreign relations. delivered (1982-2022).

Therefore, the visit has many special meanings, aiming to promote the bilateral relationship between Vietnam and Sierra Leone to become more dynamic, substantive and develop in accordance with the potential, which has not been fully exploited. effective.

Official welcome ceremony for the President of Sierra Leone and his wife at the Presidential Palace
President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio. (Photo: Nguyen Hong)

Strengthen cooperation

During the 7-day visit, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio met and worked with President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, and Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue.

At high-level meetings, the two sides highly appreciated the significance of the visit, which takes place in the early days of 2022, in the context of the two countries celebrating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. The leaders expressed their delight at the good development of Vietnam-Sierra Leone relations in many fields. Political and diplomatic cooperation is increasingly close and effective, especially reflected in the exchange of delegations of the first head of state between the two countries this time.

At the multilateral level, the two countries regularly coordinate and support each other’s candidacy for positions at multilateral forums and organizations, especially the United Nations.

Economically, in the face of the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, the bilateral trade turnover, although still modest, still maintained its growth momentum, increasing by three times from 17 million USD in 2018 to 51.5 million USD. 2021. The two countries also cooperate in the fields of agriculture and investment.

In the atmosphere of friendship, trust, sincerity and openness, the leaders of the two countries exchanged and highly agreed on directions to promote cooperation relations between the two countries in the coming time.

The leaders agreed to consider the economy as a central area of ​​cooperation. The two sides agreed to exploit to the fullest the potential and strengths of the two economies; affirming to make agriculture the mainstay of bilateral cooperation; learn and share experiences to promote agricultural cooperation within the bilateral framework as well as tripartite cooperation between the two countries and the participation of international development organizations, industrialized countries, investment from the private sector.

In addition to high-level contact activities, President Julius Maada Bio also took time to visit Vietnamese provinces and cities such as An Giang province, Can Tho city and Ho Chi Minh City.

Emphasis on agriculture

Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa, with an area of ​​nearly 72,000 square kilometers and a population of about eight million. With more than 60% of the country’s population dependent on agriculture, promoting agriculture has always been one of Sierra Leone’s economic policy priorities.

Therefore, President Julius Maada Bio has repeatedly emphasized that Sierra Leone admires Vietnam’s great achievements in the agricultural sector, and at the same time about the need to strengthen agricultural cooperation between the two countries in the future. during your visit.

During talks with Vietnamese leaders, President Julius Maada Bio said that Sierra Leone especially admires Vietnam’s great achievements in the field of agriculture. The two countries also have similarities in terms of climate and soil conditions. Thereby, on the basis of the good relationship between the two countries, Sierra Leone wishes to receive support from Vietnam and share experiences in this field.

Promote Vietnam-Sierra Leone agricultural cooperation
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing ceremony between Sierra Leone and VAAS. (Photo: Duy Quang)

The President and Sierra Leone High-Level Delegation had a working visit with the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS) and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote cooperation between Sierra Leone and VAAS in the field of agriculture. crop.

In An Giang, the Sierra Leone delegation expressed their desire to learn rice farming techniques and seafood processing technology; at the same time, strengthen business cooperation in these two fields in Sierra Leone market as well as other countries in the region.

Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and An Giang Import-Export Joint Stock Company also signed an MOU to cooperate in the field of rice; Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources signed a cooperation agreement with Nam Viet Group Joint Stock Company in the field of seafood.

In Can Tho, President Julius Maada Bio and his wife and high-ranking delegation of the Republic of Sierra Leone visited the Mekong Delta Rice Institute and the Indian Ocean seafood processing factory in Can Tho city.

Also in An Giang, Sierra Leone Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Abu Bakarr Karim and Mr. Do Thanh Nhan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of An Giang Import-Export Joint Stock Company (Angimex) signed a memorandum of understanding. remember the contract to export 3 million tons of rice to Sierra Leone for 3 years.

Hi-tech is the key

When visiting and working at the Ho Chi Minh City Hi-Tech Park (SHTP), President Julius Maada Bio highly appreciated the Vietnamese Government for considering and choosing information technology as the “leading bird” for development. country. In particular, the construction, formation and development of high-tech zones in Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City; at the same time, affirming this is what Sierra Leone will learn from.

Sierra Leone wishes to promote high-tech cooperation and innovation with Vietnam
Sierra Leone wishes to promote high-tech and innovation cooperation with Vietnam. (Source: VNA)

“Therefore, in the coming cooperation process between Vietnam and Sierra Leone, this activity will definitely happen, especially in the field of high technology and innovation, thereby contributing to strengthening more relationship between the two countries,” said President Julius Maada Bio.

The President of Sierra Leone said that after this visit, Sierra Leone will proceed to build a focal point here to be more convenient in researching, learning and sharing experiences from Vietnam’s models in general. ; carrying out linkage and cooperation activities between branches and localities of Sierra Leone and Ho Chi Minh City in particular”…

On the morning of March 16, in Hanoi, Minister and Chairman of the Office of the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Jacob Jusu Saffa and Chairman of the Board of Directors of FPT Truong Gia Binh signed a cooperation agreement to promote national digital transformation and training digital workforce for Sierra Leone.

Under the cooperation agreement, FPT will coordinate with the world’s leading consulting firms to consult the Government of Sierra Leone on socio-economic development strategies and digital transformation strategies. At the same time, FPT supports the Government of Sierra Leone in building a digital government, digital economy, and digital society towards a digital nation model.

Although this is the first visit of the President of Sierra Leone to Vietnam, as well as the first exchange of delegations of heads of state between the two countries, President Julius Maada Bio took up to 7 days to make the visit to Vietnam. Seeing that, he attaches great importance to relations with Vietnam and wishes to promote stronger bilateral cooperation, for the common interests of the two distant but very close countries.

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