Sierra Leone Telegraph: 10 December 2019:
Yesterday, Monday 9 December 2019, – the European Union (EU) Principal Adviser on Investment Strategy for Development and Innovative Financing – Arianna Vannini, met President Dr Julius Maada Bio in Freetown, where they discussed the EU’s new external investment plan for Sierra Leone.
Madam Vannini said that she is also visiting the country to follow-up on discussions held with the President when he visited the European Commission last year.
She said that the EU is aware of the number of priorities the New Direction Government is embarking on, including public finance management and education.
The Commission she said, is under new leadership that is committed to strengthening external relations, in particular with Africa.
She said the new leadership at the Commission is committed to take forward the EU-Africa Alliance Strategy that was adopted by the EU Commission last year.
“We have an external investment plan which is composed of three pillars – financial, technical assistance and improving investment climate. We have heard that this country is giving importance to improving investment climate in order to attract the private sector. This is very much what the external investment plan is focusing on.
“Sierra Leone has a lot of possibilities to be part of this external investment plan. Sierra Leone is a country with a very stable political environment, a youth population and the emphasis on innovation and technology is certainly good.
“The EU Commission is now focusing very much on the international partnership which is going to be articulated under five pillars,” she stated.
President Bio said that he is pleased to engage the EU Commission on their proposed external investment plan.
He said he is fully aware of the changes taking place around the world, for which his government is ready to respond positively to new opportunities and challenges.
The EU and Sierra Leone the president said, have been development partners for a very long time; adding that the EU has and continues to support quite a lot of projects in the country.
“We know that trade and investment are quite crucial; and we have done quite a lot also to make sure that we shape the investment climate in this country.
“We are an open government that embraces anything that works for the interest of our country; and we look forward to working with the EU, like we have always done,” president Bio said.