Further cultivating Vietnam – Sierra Leone cooperation

Tuesday, 2022-03-15 02:24:11
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President Nguyen Xuan Phuc presents a gift to his Sierra Leone counterpart Julius Maada Bio on the sidelines of the general debate of the UN General Assembly's 76th session in New York. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO - President of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio and his spouse are paying an official visit to Vietnam from March 14-20 at the invitation of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his spouse. The visit aims to further strengthen the cooperation between Vietnam and Sierra Leone.

President Julius Maada Bio’s visit takes place in the context that the relationship between Vietnam and Sierra Leone has been constantly developing since 1982, when the two countries established diplomatic relations. Sierra Leone supported Vietnam's candidacy for the Executive Council of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation in the 2015-2019 tenure and the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in the 2016-2018 tenure, as well as its term on the United Nations Security Council (2020-2021).

In terms of economic cooperation, two-way trade turnover between the two countries reached 49.26 million USD in 2020, up more than 200 percent from the 17 million USD recorded in 2018. Vietnam has exported tobacco, computers, textiles and accessories worth total 47 million USD to Sierra Leone, while importing wood and wooden products worth 2.1 million USD from Sierra Leone.

During the 2004-2013 period, Vietnam sent a number of delegations from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and research institutes to Sierra Leone to survey the possibility of cooperation as well as the construction of agricultural projects.

Vietnam and Sierra Leone signed many cooperation agreements such as a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on agricultural cooperation and salt production (in 2001), the Agreement on Economy-Trade, Culture and Technology (in 2003), an MoU on bilateral cooperation in fisheries between Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources of Sierra Leone, minutes on working between the two foreign ministries, and an MoU on rice trade between the two Ministries of Industry and Trade (in 2011).

Following the victory in the general election in 2018, the government of President Julius Maada Bio has carried out many socio-economic policies, with priority given to education, healthcare and improving people’s lives. Sierra Leone has implemented a policy of diversifying relations while attaching importance to bolstering the cooperation with developing countries within the framework of South-South cooperation, including Vietnam.

Sierra Leone is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the World Trade Organisation, and many other international organisations.

The administration of President Julius Maada Bio is carrying out a 5-year medium-term development plan (2019-2023) with four major goals: building a green, diversified and sustainable economy; improving people’s access to education and health care; ensuring a fair, harmonious and stable society; and boosting investment in infrastructure to raise the economy’s competitiveness.

With the effective cooperation between the two nations in recent years, it is believed that the official visit of President Julius Maada Bio and his spouse to Vietnam will bring the solidarity between the two countries to new heights in the near future, significantly contributing to the stability, peace and development in the region and the world.

NHAN DAN
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