August 29, 2018
By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
President Julius Maada Bio yesterday left the country for a state visit to China and to participate in the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit in Beijing, according to press statement from the Office of the President.
“President Julius Maada Bio has been invited by the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping for a state visit and to participate at the forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit in Beijing,” the release states.
According to the release, the state visit, which is slated from the 31st August to 1st September 2018, will give both heads of state opportunity to renew bilateral ties between their two countries and also provide a platform to strengthen long –standing relationship between the two nations.
“During the state visit, His Excellency President Bio is also expected to meet with the Premier of the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency Li Keqiang,” the State House statement reads, adding that in his determination to attract investment to Sierra Leone, the president is also expected to engage credible Chinese companies and investors.
The State House release further notes that after the state visit, President Bio will also be attending the FOCAC summit in Beijing, slated for 3rd September -5th September.
FOCAC brings together heads of state from African countries, officials of the AU commission and the People’s Republic of China to discuss wide ranging development issues as partners.
According to Presidential Press Secretary Yusuf Keketoma Sandi, the state visit and FOCAC summit would underline President Bio’s commitment to ensuring that Sierra Lone and China enjoy a stronger strategic and cooperative partnership.
During the state visit to China, President Bio will be accompanied by his First Lady Fatima Bio and some senior cabinet ministers.