Hanoi, Vietnam, Monday 14 March 2022 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has arrived in Hanoi, the capital city of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, at the invitation of His Excellency Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who initiated the discussions around bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
It could be recalled that the Vietnamese President extended an invitation to President Bio when they met at the 76th UN General Assembly in New York on 23 September 2021, praising his ability to maintain political and social stability in the resource-rich West African nation and thanking him for his kind words on Vietnam’s development.
On the margins of the UN meeting of leaders, President Xuan Phuc formally invited President Bio to visit his country and expressed a desire for the two countries to establish diplomatic relations.
“I am confident that under your leadership the cooperation will grow stronger and stronger. I am looking forward to welcoming you to Vietnam,” he said some six months ago.
President Bio had accepted the invitation and noted at the time that: “I accept the invitation very kindly, and I am delighted for the series of proposals to establish cooperation between our two countries”. Both Presidents had also agreed on exploring trade and investment opportunities.
His visit will focus on six key areas including the signing of an agreement for the supply of rice, investing in capacity building in mechanised farming, provide technical expertise to the value chain in fish production among others.
During the last 18 years, the exports of Vietnam to Sierra Leone increased at an annualised rate of 14.6%, from $854,000 in 2000 to $9.9 million in 2018. Vietnam had shipped an estimated $348 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2020 alone.
Located in a strategic position for foreign companies with operations throughout Southeast Asia, Vietnam is an ideal export hub for countries like Sierra Leone to reach members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
The President is accompanied by the First Lady Fatima Bio, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Professor John Francis, Chief Minister, Jacob Jusu Saffa, Minister of Agriculture, Dr Abu Bakarr Karim, Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Edward Sandy, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Honourable Emma Kowa-Jalloh and the Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr Francis Kaikai.
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