His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio has received a high-level official delegation from the United Arab Emirates, UAE, a follow-up to his visit last month to the Arabian Peninsula nation.
The President of UAE, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, had urged investors to visit Sierra Leone, the natural resource-rich West African nation that was looking for genuine businesses to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the New Direction government.
Welcoming the delegation, which included public and private investors, Chief Minister Professor David Francis told the potential investors that the country was an emerging destination of choice for Africa and other developed countries. He added that under the leadership of President Bio the government would ensure that all investors and their investments were protected.
“We are proud of the bold steps and your initiative of coming to our beloved country to invest. Sierra Leone has been ranked as the third most peaceful country in the world. This will be backed up with the political will to ensure that you are not only protected but your investments were also secure,” he assured.
Professor Francis noted that he wanted those investors to be part of the drive to transform Sierra Leone, thereby turning the country’s challenges into a unique opportunity.
Head of the delegation, His Excellency Sultan Al Shamsi, who is the Currently, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for International Development Affairs said he was happy to visit Sierra Leone and to bring along investors to explore possible investment potentials in the private and public sectors. He said that key areas of interest would be agriculture, education, energy, health, women’s empowerment through job creation and the empowerment of small and medium-sized enterprises.
“It is very promising and important coming here to Sierra Leone to partner with the government and find ways the two countries can make investment better. One thing that is important and fundamental here is the commitment by the government to protect investors and their investments,” he said.
While responding, President Julius Maada Bio welcomed and thanked the delegation from the UAE for their time and effort to come to Sierra Leone to discuss business.
“When we last visited the UAE in search of investment opportunities, Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE assured me that he would send a delegation to Sierra Leone for this said purpose. I didn’t expect it to happen soonest. On behalf of the people of Sierra Leone, I welcome you here and I pray that your engagements will be fruitful,” he told the delegation.
President Bio also told the meeting that the country was looking for credible investors who would explore the many opportunities of the country through their various interests and assured of their protection.