Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio visits the Vietnam Exhibit House at Expo 2020 Dubai (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada BioThe official visit to Vietnam from March 14 to 20 is expected to be a new step in the development of relations between Vietnam and the West African country.
The visit, which will take place at the invitation of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations (June 24, 1982-2022), has historical significance in Vietnam-Sierra Leone links because it will be the first of a head of state from one country to another.
Since Vietnam and Sierra Leone established diplomatic ties on June 24, 1982, the two sides have maintained good political relations. Vietnam attaches importance to strengthening ties with African countries, including Sierra Leone. Meanwhile, Sierra Leone has supported Vietnam’s candidacy for the Executive Board of UNESCO (2015-2019), the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC in 2016-2018) and the United Nations Security Council ( 2020-2021).
The two countries have engaged in economic cooperation and worked together in other areas. In 2020, bilateral trade reached $49.26 million, up more than 200% from $17 million recorded in 2018, with Vietnam’s overwhelming exports of $47 million. Sierra Leone is running a marketing and human resource management project in Vietnam with an investment of US$33,185. Vietnam has not yet implemented any project in Sierra Leone.
In order to strengthen their overall relations, the two countries have signed a number of memoranda of understanding on cooperation in certain areas, including agriculture and salt production, rice trade and fisheries. They also reached an agreement on economy, trade, culture and technology in 2003.
Recently, while presenting his credentials to the President of Sierra Leone, Vietnamese Ambassador Luong Quoc Thinh stressed Vietnam’s interest in further enhancing the strong friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
The diplomat proposed that the two sides promote coordination in international and multilateral forums, especially at the UN. He called on Sierra Leone to support Vietnam in establishing relations with the African Union and to support the views of Vietnam and the ASEAN on the question of the East Sea.
President Julius Maada Bio affirmed that his country wishes to strengthen and reinforce collaboration with Vietnam in all fields. He said he hoped the visit would be a valuable chance for both parties to further promote their already strong friendship.
This visit should be a new step forward in bilateral relations within the framework of African countries, including Sierra Leone, expanding their relations with Asia-Pacific countries, including Vietnam./.