State House, Freetown, Monday 9 December 2019 – Principal Adviser on Investment Strategy for Development and Innovative Financing at the European Union, EU, Arianna Vannini, has met His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio to discuss the new external investment plan of the EU.
In her statement, Madam Vannini said it was both a pleasure and an honour to meet with the President, saying that her visit to the country was a follow-up to the President’s visit to the European Commission last year.
She said that the EU was aware of the number of priorities the New Direction Government was embarking on, including public financial management and education.
She mentioned that the Commission was under a new leadership that was committed to strengthening its external relations, in particular, the relationship between the EU and Africa. She said the new leadership was committed to furthering the EU-Africa Alliance Strategy that was adopted by the EU Commission last year.
“We have an external investment plan which is composed of three pillars – financial, technical assistance and improving the climate investment. We have heard that this country is giving importance to improving climate investment in order to attract the private sector. This is very much what the external investment plan is focusing on.
“Sierra Leone has a lot of possibilities to be part of this external investment plan. Sierra Leone is a country with a very stable political environment, a youth population and the emphasis on innovation and technology is certainly good. The EU Commission is now focusing very much on the international partnership which is going to be articulated under five pillars,” she stated.
In his response, President Bio said that he was pleased to have the EU and to engage in the external investment plan. He said they were fully aware that a lot was changing around the world, for which his government was ready to remain current. He said the EU and Sierra Leone had been development partners for a very long time, adding that the EU had supported quite a lot of projects in the country.
“We know that trade and investment are quite crucial and we have done quite a lot also to make sure that we shape the investment climate. We are an open government that embraces anything that works for the interest of our country and we look forward to working with the EU like we have always done,” he said.
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