|Secretary of the An Giang provincial Party Committee Lê Hồng Quang (right) gives a souvenir to the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio. — VNA/VNS Photo Công Mạo|
AN GIANG — President Julius Maada Bio and a high-ranking delegation of the Republic of Sierra Leone on Friday visited the Mekong Delta's An Giang Province as part of his official visit to Việt Nam.
Warmly welcoming the delegation, Secretary of the An Giang provincial Party Committee Lê Hồng Quang said that the province was located in the lower reaches of the Mekong River – the second longest river in the world – with a population of about two million people.
An Giang Province has developed agriculture such as rice, freshwater aquatic products, vegetables and fruit trees, with the two strategic products of rice and tra fish making significant contributions to the province's export turnover of US$1.12 billion last year.
Annually, it produces over four million tonnes of rice and over 500,000 tonnes of aquatic products. Import and export values reached over $2.3 billion last year.
The province has many historical sites and tourism sites, and each year welcomes about 10 million domestic and foreign tourists.
Secretary Quang emphasised that the visit of President Julius Maada Bio had special significance when the two countries, as Việt Nam and Sierra Leone recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
An Giang was honoured to welcome the President, his wife and the high-ranking delegation of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
Quang affirmed that An Giang always welcomed and created favourable conditions for enterprises of Sierra Leone to cooperate with enterprises in An Giang Province in areas in which the two sides have potential, especially agriculture and fisheries.
President Julius Maada Bio emphasised that Sierra Leone admired the outstanding achievements of An Giang and Việt Nam.
Based on the good relationship between the two countries, the potential and prospect to further improve cooperation between the two sides, Sierra Leone wishes to receive support from An Giang in this field.
President Julius Maada Bio said that due to similar climatic and soil conditions, Việt Nam and Sierra Leone would make agriculture the mainstay in bilateral cooperation.
The two sides will learn and share experiences to promote agricultural cooperation with the participation of international development organisations, industrialised countries and investors from the private sector.
He said Sierra Leone wished to learn rice farming techniques and seafood processing technology and strengthen business cooperation in these and other markets.
President Julius Maada Bio and secretary Lê Hồng Quang witnessed a memorandum of understanding signing ceremony between the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Sierra Leone and the An Giang Import and Export Joint Stock Company, related to rice farming.
Sierra Leone's Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources signed a cooperation agreement with the Nam Việt Joint Stock Company in seafood.
On the same day, President Julius Maada Bio and his wife Fatima Maada Bio and his delegation visited the rice processing factory for the An Giang Import and Export Joint Stock Company.
They visited the tra fish processing factory for export for the Nam Việt Joint Stock Company. The two sides discussed how to cooperate in rice and aquaculture.
The President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio and his wife's official visit to Việt Nam is the first exchange of the two countries' leaders.
The trip shows the positive development between the two countries, with African countries, such as Sierra Leone, attaching great importance to developing relations with countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Việt Nam. — VNS