HÀ NỘI — Chairman of the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) Phạm Tấn Công announced that economic and trade cooperation between Việt Nam and Sierra Leone recorded positive signs during a business forum in Hà Nội yesterday.
VCCI held a forum to enhance cooperation within the framework of the official visit by Sierra Leone’s president Julius Maada Bio, his spouse and a high-ranking delegation to Viet Nam. The visit will last until March 20.
The chamber said the bilateral trade turnover between Việt Nam and Sierra Leone in 2020 reached US$49.26 million, an increase of more than 200 per cent compared to the $17 million recorded in 2018. While Việt Nam exported cigarettes and computers, textiles and raw materials to Sierra Leone, it imported wood and wood products from the country.
In Việt Nam, Sierra Leone also has a $33,000 investment project in the field of marketing and human resource management.
Công said: "As the gateway to Southeast Asia, Việt Nam hopes to continue to receive investment attention from Sierra Leone businesses."
Công expected two sides’ businesses to continue information exchange, seek new opportunities for cooperation and trade besides traditional products, suggesting potential products such as agricultural products, building materials, medical supplies of Việt Nam or some agricultural products and minerals of Sierra Leone.
Công added Vietnamese businesses could look for agricultural and fishery opportunities in Sierra Leone as it was the gateway to the vast West Africa region with the advantage of having the deep-water Freetown port.
Công said VCCI would work closely and become a solid connection to promote more trade and investment activities for the common development goals of the two countries.
At the forum, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Republic of Sierra Leone Edward Hinga Sandy also expressed his delight at the development of the ties, adding Sierra Leone has made great strides to improve and increase investment in Việt Nam.
He added Sierra Leone exported palm oil with factories and corporations that produce oil and palm oil to supply other countries and in the near future the country would switch to timber and other agricultural products and focus on ore and mining.
Impressed by the socio-economic development achievements of Việt Nam, Sierra Leone’s minister wanted to promote cooperation, saying the two countries could cooperate and support each other in trade.
Sharing the same view, Minister and Chairman of the Office of the President of Sierra Leone Jacob Jusu Saffa said: “Sierra Leone is a country with many untapped potentials, a healthy and promising investment environment, and is ready for foreign enterprises to invest.”
He said Sierra Leone has experienced rapid development and is currently promoting investment in the maritime and fishing industry, mining ore, iron and steel.
As the Sierra Leone government supported and encouraged investment, giving priority to private enterprises to invest, continuously change appropriate policies, create favourable conditions for businesses with attractive tax and financial support packages, Jacob Jusu Saffa encouraged Vietnamese businesses to promote cooperation with Sierra Leone to create profit as well as value for the two countries.
After the forum, Sierra Leone's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation David J.Francis and VCCI chairman Cong witnessed the signing ceremony between Lyoa Global Company of Sierra Leone and SJC Việt Nam Construction Investment Joint Stock Company from Việt Nam, which created opportunities and trade investment for Vietnamese businesses to Sierra Leone, other countries in Africa and around the world.
The official visit to Việt Nam is the first exchange of delegations of the two countries and a positive and good development step between the two countries in the context that African countries, including Sierra Leone, establish and develop cooperative relations with countries in the Asia-Pacific region including Việt Nam. — VNS