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Sierra Leone: Trade Relations and Economic and Technical Cooperation


Trade Relations and Economic and Technical Cooperation

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, China has helped Sierra Leone to complete numerous projects, such as station for popularizing rice-cultivation techniques, road bridges, National Stadium, sugar complex, office building, hydropower station, power transmission and substation projects, hospital, schools, civil housing.

Sino-Sierra Leone cooperation of mutual benefit started from 1984. Since 1985, Sino-Sierra Leone joint ventures and China-funded ventures have started their business in Sierra Leone. In 1992, the overseas fishery company of China National Fishery Corporation took over the fishing project set up in 1985 by the investment of Fujian-Africa Fishing Company of China. Based on a lease contract, Beijing Urban Construction Group had completed the rehabilitation of Bintumani Hotel which started operating in 2003. In 2003, China National Complete Plant Import & Export Corporation (Group) signed a contract on the project of Magbass Sugar Complex which has begun producing sugar and alcohol since 2005. In April 2005, the Industrial and Trade zone project invested by the Henan Goji Industry and Development Company of China officially opened for business. Since 2005, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd and ZTE Corporation have cooperated with many Sierra Leonean local telecommunications companies. Constructed by China National Electric Equipment Corporation, the upgrade and improvement project of Dodo hydro power station completed in July 2007.

In April 2009, the Government of China and Government of Sierra Leone established the Joint Economic and Trade Committee, and the first session of JETC was held in Freetown, capital city of Sierra Leone.

Important bilateral economic and trade agreements include: trade and payment agreement signed in July 1971, trade agreement signed in September 1989,investment promotion and protection agreement signed in 2001 and agreement for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income signed in 2005. China's main exports to Sierra Leone are mechanical and electrical products, textiles and other light industrial goods, cultural and educational materials, hardware, articles for daily use, etc. China's main imports from Sierra Leone are timber, natural rubber,coffee and cacao beans. The trade volume between the two countries reached US$ 66 million in 2009, among which China's export volume totaled US$ 55 million and China's import volume totaled US$ 11 million.

3. Exchanges and Cooperation in the Fields of Culture, Education, Health and Military

China and Sierra Leone signed a cultural agreement in April 1981 and since then the cultural delegations from the two countries have exchanged several visits.

China began to accept Sierra Leonean students from 1976. Up to 2010, China has received more than 330 students from Sierra Leone under China's government scholarship programmes. In 1976, China sent 8 students to study English in the Fourah Bay College of Sierra Leone.

Since March 1973, China has sent 14 groups of medical team to Sierra Leone with a total number of around 190 person times. The latest group has 10 members.

Deputy Ministers of Defence of Sierra Leone, Captain (rtd) Sam Hinga Norman and Joe Blell, visited China in July 2000 and October 2003 respectively. Major General Ding Jingong , Deputy Director General of Foreign Office of the Ministry of National Defence of China, and Rear Admiral Li Changjiang, Director General of Equipment Department of People's Liberation Army Navy, visited Sierra Leone in March 2007 and July 2009 respectively.

In March 1984, Hefei, the capital city of East China's Anhui Province, established a sister-city relationship with Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone.

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