President Julius Maada Bio will visit Vietnam to meet with President Nguyen Xuan Phuc from today until Sunday March 20th. The two are expected to cover a wide range of topics encompassing trade, tourism, and the future of their diplomatic relationship.
Vietnam has been growing at a rapid rate, peaking at over 7% growth over 2019 before stalling noticeably over the pandemic to only 2%. Sierra Leone’s economy shrunk by over 2% during the pandemic. Currently, trade between the two countries only amounts to around $54 thousand and consists primarily of raw goods.
Both Vietnam and Sierra Leone stand to gain from these talks, as both economies are still reeling from the effects of the pandemic. Vietnam could gain larger export access to the African economy, whereas Sierra Leone can diversify its trade to a rapidly growing ASEAN region. Expect the two to announce expanded trade between their countries. Vietnam is experiencing a long term trend of rapid growth, so also expect a general increase in meetings with prospective trade partners in the coming year to refuel its economy. With continued growth, Vietnam will become a major power in the ASEAN region.
Colin serves on the current developments team as a research analyst. He has previously published research on China and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Contributing regularly to the Daily Brief, Colin's areas of focus include China, climate change, and ASEAN.