Sierra Leone’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Edward Hinga Sandy, recently revealed that China holds the title of Sierra Leone’s largest trading partner.

He made this announcement on May 10, 2023, during the second session of Face to Face with China, which took place at China House.

Minister Sandy highlighted China’s dominant position in various sectors, including trade, mining, and education within Sierra Leone.

He also discussed the government’s efforts to address the issue of high currency exchange rates faced by businesspeople when purchasing goods from China.

The Minister expressed the challenges involved in converting local currency, the Leone, to US Dollars and Renminbi (RMB). However, he shared that through ongoing engagement, they are working towards enabling direct purchases using Leones to RMB instead of US Dollars.

Minister Sandi, who spent six years studying at the Chinese University of Geosciences Wuhan, reflected on his positive experiences in China.

He described the seminar as a testament to China’s respect and value for the bilateral relationship between the two countries. Minister Sandy emphasized the importance of Chinese companies establishing local factories in Sierra Leone as their relationship continues to grow.

Furthermore, he expressed the commitment of both countries to foster a stronger relationship, working closely with the respective embassies to enhance bilateral ties. Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Wang Qing, viewed the day as an excellent opportunity to renew their friendship and exchange perspectives on shared interests.

Ambassador Qing discussed three significant events in China since the beginning of the year.

He emphasized that China and Sierra Leone are not only good friends but also good brothers and partners. With 52 years of diplomatic relations, China-Sierra Leone ties have reached a historic peak, serving as a model for China-Africa relations and South-South cooperation.

The ambassador concluded by highlighting that the strength of the nations’ friendship lies in the closeness between their people.