Sierra Leone President’s Vietnam visit – chance to bolster bilateral ties

Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio's official visit to Vietnam from March 14-20 is expected to be a new step forwards in the development of ties between Vietnam and the West African country.
Sierra Leone President’s Vietnam visit – chance to bolster bilateral ties ảnh 1 Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio visits the Vietnam Exhibition House at Expo 2020 Dubai (Photo: VNA)
The visit, which will be made at the invitation of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations (June 24,1982-2022), has a historical meaning in the Vietnam-Sierra Leone ties as it will be the first by a head of State of one country to the other.
Since Vietnam and Sierra Leone set up their diplomatic relations on June 24, 1982, the two sides have maintained good political relations. Vietnam attaches importance to fostering ties with African countries, including Sierra Leone. Meanwhile, Sierra Leone supported Vietnam's candidacy for the UNESCO Executive Council (2015-2019), the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC in 2016-2018 tenure), and the United Nations Security Council (2020-2021).
The two countries have engaged in economic cooperation and worked together in some other fields. In 2020, two-way trade reached US$49.26 million, up more than 200 percent from the US$17 million recorded in 2018, with Vietnam’s overwhelming exports of US$47 million. Sierra Leone is operating one project in marketing and human resources management in Vietnam with investment of US$33,185. Vietnam has yet to run any project in Sierra Leone.
In order to strengthen their all-round ties, the two countries signed a number of memorandum of understanding on cooperation in some areas, including agriculture and salt production, rice trade and fisheries. They also reached an agreement on economy-trade, culture and technology in 2003.
Recently, when presenting his credentials to the Sierra Leone President, Vietnamese Ambassador Luong Quoc Thinh highlighted Vietnam’s interest in further bolstering the sound friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
The diplomat proposed that both sides promote coordination at international and multilateral forums, especially the UN. He asked Sierra Leone to support Vietnam in setting up relationship with the African Union and back the viewpoints of Vietnam and the ASEAN on the East Sea issue.
President Julius Maada Bio affirmed his country wants to reinforce and strengthen collaboration with Vietnam in all fields. He said he hopes the visit will be a valuable chance for both sides to continue to promote their already-sound friendship.
The visit is expected to be a new progress in the bilateral relations in the context of African countries, including Sierra Leone, expanding their relations with Asia-Pacific countries, including Vietnam.

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