President Ouattara said that the visit by President Bio will strengthen the relationship between the two sister nations and develop avenues for cooperation.
President Ouattara also said that their bilateral meeting discussed the need for both countries to diversify their economies especially in the area of agriculture. He said that both countries will work on a joint commission which will contain many areas of cooperation between the two countries. He revealed that following the visit by President Bio, Air Côte d’Ivoire will resume flights to Sierra Leone shortly.
President Ouattara also said that to boost the private sector in both countries and to enhance trade cooperation, trade missions involving members of the Ivorian private sector will be visiting Sierra Leone for trade and investment opportunities whilst trade missions from Sierra Leone will also be visiting Ivory Coast. He stressed the need to increase trade not only between both countries but also among African countries.
According to President Ouattara, the bilateral meeting also discussed issues relating to security and the threats of terrorism in the sub-region. He also spoke about the power project among the Mano River Union countries. On ECOWAS, President Ouattara mentioned that their bilateral meeting discussed the proposed single currency for ECOWAS countries and the need for member states to make a strong statement supporting the proposal to promote economic integration in the sub-region.
On his part the visiting Head of State, President Bio thanked the Government and People of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire for their warm hospitality and stated that the visit was to consolidate the excellent relationship between Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire. President Bio also reflected that one year ago, Côte d’Ivoire was one of the countries he visited immediately when he took office demonstrating his commitment to strengthen the relationship between both countries.
President Bio said that his bilateral meeting with his colleague discussed range of issues including trade and investment, diversifying the two economies, security and threats of terrorism, economic cooperation and the resumption of Air Côte d’Ivoire. He said both countries have similar past with political challenges but that now the two countries are focused on economic development.
President Bio also praised President Ouattara for his leadership in advocating for free trade among African nations and for the single currency in West Africa. He thanked his colleague for his commitment towards ensuring the resumption of the Air Côte d’Ivoire flight which suspended its flights to Sierra Leone under the previous administration. President Bio also commended the joint commission initiative and assured that his administration will support the process for the establishment of the joint commission.
President Bio was accompanied to Abidjan by the Chief Minister, Honourable Professor David J. Francis, the newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Honorable Nabeela Tunis and the Deputy Minister of Finance, Honourable Dr. Patricia N. Laverley.