Sierra Leone President's Eventful Week with Trip to Vietnam
Recap of President of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio, and his spouse's official visit to Vietnam on March 14 – 19.
The visit was be made at the invitation of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his spouse on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations (June 24,1982-2022), according to VNA.
An official welcome ceremony for the Sierra Leone leader was be held at the Presidential Palace on March 15.
Following that, the two Presidents held talks and witness the signing of agreements between their countries.
President Julius Maada Bio also had meetings with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue.
|President of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio, and his spouse pay tribute to late President Ho Chi Minh. Source: VTV|
He paid tribute to late President Ho Chi Minh, laid wreaths at the Monument to Heroes and Martyrs, visited the FPT University, and attended a business forum in Hanoi.
|President of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio (the second from the left, second row) visits FPT University. Photo: VNA|
Cooperation agreement to promote digital transformation
In his visit to FPT University on March 16, FPT Technology Corporation of Vietnam and the Republic of Sierra Leone signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation to promote digital transformation and human resources training for the African country.
The MoU was inked by Leone Jacob Jusu Saffa, Chief Minister of the Republic of Sierra Leone, and Truong Gia Binh, FPT chairman, under the witness of Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio.
On the same day, a Vietnam - Sierra Leone business forum was organized in Hanoi to explore opportunities for boosting bilateral trade and investment ties.
President Julius Maada Bio then paid a visit to the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS) during which he highly valued Vietnam’s agricultural achievements, hoping that the Southeast Asian country will support and share experience with Sierra Leone in the field.
On the occasion, the VAAS and Sierra Leone inked a MoU on increasing farming cooperation.
President Julius Maada Bio was also took part in some other activities in An Giang province and Ho Chi Minh City.
|Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio and Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Le Hong Quang witness the signing of several cooperation agreements between the two sides. Photo: VNA|
Contract of 3 million tonnes of rice signed
The President of Sierra Leone on March 18 paid a visit to the Mekong Delta province of An Giang.
Speaking at a reception for the President, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Le Hong Quang affirmed that An Giang always welcomes and creates all favourable conditions for Sierra Leonean businesses to cooperate with local partners in the fields the two sides have potential, especially in agriculture and fisheries.
According to President Julius Maada Bio, thanks to similar climate and soil conditions, Vietnam and Sierra Leone have affirmed to make agriculture a pillar of bilateral cooperation.
Sierra Leone wishes to learn rice An Giang's farming techniques and seafood processing technology and strengthen business cooperation in these two spheres, he added.
On this occasion, the President and the An Giang leader witnessed the signing of several cooperation agreements between the two sides.
Sierra Leonean Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Abu Bakarr Karim and Do Thanh Nhan, chairman of the Board of Directors of An Giang Import-Export Joint Stock Company (Angimex), signed a memorandum of understanding on a contract of exporting 3 million tonnes of rice to the African country in three years.
|Nguyen Ngoc He, vice chairman of Can Tho City People's Committee presents flowers to President Julius Maada Bio. Photo: VNT|
In the afternoon of the same day, President Julius Maada Bio and the high-ranking delegation of Sierra Leone had a visit to the production line of Indian Ocean seafood freezing Factory (belonging to Nam Viet Group) in Thot Not Industrial Park, Can Tho City and the Mekong Delta Rice Research Institute (Thoi Lai District, Can Tho City).
|President Julius Maada Bio and delegates tour the production line of the Indian Ocean seafood freezing Factory (under Nam Viet Group) in Thot Not Industrial Park. Photo: VNT|
Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio and his entourage on March 19 visited the Saigon Hi-Tech Park (SHTP) in HCM City to learn about the development of this model, reported VOV.
President Julius Maada Bio said he was impressed by the operational model of SHTP and that hi-tech and innovation cooperation between the two countries will be given priority in the coming time.
Sierra Leone also has businesses specializing in information technology, however, it is necessary to pay attention to and promote technology development in order to narrow the gap between countries, said the president.
He revealed that Sierra Leone would establish a unit in HCM City to facilitate research, study and share experiences with Vietnamese partners.
|President Julius Maada Bio visits United Healthcare Medical Equipment JSC at the Saigon Hi-Tech Park in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: VNA|
Since Vietnam and Sierra Leone set up their diplomatic relations on June 24, 1982, the two sides have maintained good political relations.
Bilateral trade stood at USD 49.26 million in 2020, surging by over 200% from USD 17 million in 2018. Vietnam mainly exports cigarettes, computers, textile - garment products, and materials to Sierra Leone while importing timber and wood products from the latter.
The African nation is investing in a marketing and human resources management project worth over USD 33,000 in Vietnam.
The official trip to Vietnam by the President of Sierra Leone is the first visit by a head of state between the two countries. It is also a stride in bilateral relations in the context that African countries, including Sierra Leone, attach importance to the establishment and development of their cooperative ties with Asia-Pacific nations, including Vietnam.
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