21.6 C
Sierra Leone
Monday, August 8, 2022

To Commemorate 50 Years of Bi-Lateral Ties… Chinese Embassy & Foreign Affairs Ministry Co-Host Virtual Symposium

Must Read

By Amin Kef-Ranger

The Chinese Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on the 8th July 2021 co-hosted a Symposium on China-Sierra Leone Trade and Investment Cooperation

July 29th, 2021 mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-Sierra Leone diplomatic relations. As one of the serial activities to commemorate the auspicious occasion, the Chinese Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MFAIC) co-hosted a virtual symposium on China-Sierra Leone Trade and Investment Cooperation.

Hon. Minister of MFAIC Prof. David Francis, H.E. Chinese Ambassador Hu Zhangliang, Hon. Deputy Minister of MFAIC, Mamadi Gobeh Kamara, IG Ambrose Sovula and other high-ranking officials from Sierra Leone MDAs, representatives of Chinese Business community as well as friends from media participated in the online symposium.

Hon. Minister Francis and H.E. Ambassador Hu spoke highly of the 50-year-old cordial relations featuring mutual trust, mutual understanding, mutual support and win-win cooperation between Sierra Leone and China. They emphasized the importance of expanding trade and investment cooperation between the two sides and shared views on how best to boost this cooperation.

The other attendees offered their felicitations on the 50th anniversary of China-Sierra Leone friendly relations and expressed their willingness to work hand in hand to expand China-Sierra Leone win-win cooperation.

In his speech, the H.E. Chinese Ambassador, Hu Zhangliang, started by saying it is his great pleasure to attend the Symposium jointly organized by the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

He noted that the symposium is held against two major backgrounds: the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-Sierra Leone diplomatic relations and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ambassador Hu Zhangliang stated that since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1971, China and Sierra Leone have always been genuine friends that enjoy mutual understanding, mutual respect, mutual trust and mutual support.

He furthered that over the past 50 years, economic and trade cooperation had always been an important part of and a strong driving force for the development of the bilateral relations.

The Ambassador highlighted how over the past one year or so, the COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged the world and severely affected all countries including China and Sierra Leone.

“Like all other countries, China and Sierra Leone face the arduous task of fighting the pandemic, stabilizing the economy, and ensuring people’s livelihood,” he said frankly adding that they are holding the symposium to review the achievements of the two countries’ trade and investment cooperation, explore new opportunities, discuss ways of overcoming challenges, and promote the alignment of the cooperation with Sierra Leone’s development diplomacy and the National Medium-term Development Plan maintaining that it is an event of great importance.

He intimated that in recent years, protectionism has been on the rise in certain parts of the world, the world economy has been in the doldrums, the global market has been shrinking, and the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the inward-looking trend of some countries.

According to him, in a situation where global trade and investment cooperation encounters headwinds, China has actively upheld true multilateralism, unswervingly pursued a win-win strategy of opening up, worked earnestly for the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, and actively promoted the Belt and Road cooperation.

The Chinese Ambassador said last year, China took the lead in bringing the pandemic under control and resuming work and production in the world through tremendously hard efforts disclosing how China was the only major economy that achieved positive economic growth.

“Over the past 50 years, fruits of China-Sierra Leone cooperation can be seen everywhere, from the Youyi Building, the National Stadium, the China-Sierra Leone Friendship Hospital, the Friendship Highway, to the Office Building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Fibre Backbone Network Phase 1 and 2, the newly started Sierra Leone Foreign Service Academy, and the newly completed 3.2-kilometer Ring Road in Freetown etc,” he intimated adding that numerous tangible projects have been witnesses to the ever-growing friendship between China and Sierra Leone.

He said since 2018, the Chinese side has completed 16 Government aid projects or programs for Sierra Leone with another 15 under implementation and some others in discussion.

The Ambassador further revealed that In May this year, H.E. President Xi Jinping held a telephone conversation with H.E. President Julius Maada Bio, during which the two Heads of State reached new and important consensus on the development of China-Sierra Leone relations, setting the direction for the next step of cooperation between our two countries.

“The Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone has been working closely with the Sierra Leonean side, particularly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and all sectors of the society to enhance cooperation in various fields,” he pointed out adding that the total trade volume between China and Sierra Leone in 2020 was $530 million, up by 4.4% year on year.

He continued that from January to May this year, the combined bilateral trade volume is approximately $287 million, an increase of 63%over the same period in 2020.

The Ambassador informed how Chinese companies have invested in infrastructure, agriculture, fisheries, tourism and other industries in Sierra Leone maintaining that the total amount exceeds $3 billion. “Chinese investment has created about 5,000 direct jobs for the local people and has made important contributions to Sierra Leone’s social economic development,” he disclosed.

“Standing at the new starting point of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries, I see great potential for deepening trade and investment cooperation between China and Sierra Leone,” he expressed optimism saying Sierra Leone is rich in natural resources.

He said under the strong leadership of H.E. President Julius Maada Bio, the Government of Sierra Leone is committed to realizing the mid-term national development plan and has embarked on Development Diplomacy, both of which set the promotion of trade and investment cooperation as a major task.

Other participants made salient contributions.

(C) The Calabash Newspaper

- Freetown - Waterloo Highway -spot_img
- Freetown - Waterloo Highway -spot_img

Latest News

Sierra Network Pleads: Prezo Koroma Still Behind Bars? An Entertainment Journalist Doing His Work

Prezo Koroma has been in the media landscape and the Entertainment Industry for the past 15 years. He was...
- Tokeh Beach Sierra Leone -spot_img

More Articles Like This

- Freetown - Waterloo Highway -spot_img