• March 24, 2023

Egypt Maritime, SLMA Consolidate Ties 

Egypt Maritime, SLMA Consolidate Ties 
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In a bid to facilitate and revamp bilateral trade, commerce, and a win-win economic corporation between the two countries the line ministry of Transport and Aviation has engaged its host in a constructive and successful international business and investment dialogue in Egyptian Port city of Alexandra.

Considering the long-standing strong ties between both nations, the Ministry of Transport and Aviation’s Monday, 20 March 2023 meeting with Reda Ahmed Ismael, the First Secretary of the Ministry of Transport, Head of Maritime Transport Sector, Reda Ahmad Ismael was geared towards consolidating trade, commerce and investment relations as well as corporations between Sierra Leone and the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Speaking during the meeting, Mr. Reda Ahmad Ismail registered his country’s strongest desire to cooperate with Sierra Leone. He said Egypt is fully determined to increase its seaport for trade gathered, adding that  Egypt also intends to launch an initiative aimed at increasing the number of vessels in the region in 2024 in 2025 for which respectively to benefit some West African states, in particular along the route stretching from Sierra Leone, Senegal and Togo, for which they intend to extend cooperation to enable Sierra Leone export wheat corn and palm oil as well as cooperation, to trigger the draft Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) of 2019 between the two countries and coordinate the framework of International Maritime Organization (IMO) guidelines which forms the basis for achieving mutual interests.

The Head of Sierra Leone delegation, Deputy Minister of Transport and Aviation, Rex Bhonapha confirmed that the Government of Sierra Leone has given its full support to the Sierra Leone Maritime Administration (SLMA) to expand cooperation with far and near neighbours to be able to address the international maritime needs and trend with international best practices.

He added that the Egyptian port of Alexandria is a gateway to Europe, South America, and West Africans need to benefit also from it.

Sierra Leone Ambassador to the Arab Republic of Egypt, Sadiq Silla expressed Sierra Leone’s interest in reviewing the draft MOU earlier mentioned by Reda Ismaili, and so be reviewed the realigned with the current needs of SLMA. He declared that the focus of the Sierra Leone Embassy is on economic and commercial diplomacy which is the driving force behind the Embassy’s full participation in the agreement. He reassured the meeting that the Embassy will facilitate every process that will make the dream a reality.

Technical Lead of the delegation, the Executive Director, SLMA, Mr Paul Sobba Massaguoi, highlighted special areas of cooperation needed between the two sides. His reiterates government’s reliability on the Local Content Policy for the benefit of Sierra Leonean. He frankly mentioned that over 480 ships are currently flying the Sierra Leonean flag as well as other treaties SLMA has ratified.

The meeting agreed on four key action points and established a biannual rotating visit programmes to accelerate further discussions on cooperation in contemporary maritime trade and transportation issues: which can look into trade facilitation that will affect vessels operating between the Egyptian port and the port of Freetown: to establish a framework that will provide Egyptian capacity building in the various fields of transport more so for maritime transport with special attention to port cooperation and STCW implementation , to commence negotiation on contests of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) in general laying emphasis in the field of merchant shipping-liner trade or bulk that will mutually benefit both parties. Further to this, the Office of the Head of the Egyptian Maritime Ministry to organize a meeting with the Egyptian Ministry of Trade to discuss details on bilateral trade possibilities, the mechanism involved in facilitating this and now barriers can be removed in that light regarding both seaborne and aviation trade.

The establishment of a regular shipping line was also tabled for discussion which will continue in subsequent meetings as this will need to be detailed and will be done through the efforts of both the Sierra Leonean and Egyptian governments and will be designed to meet both the private and public sector of both countries.

The meeting also initiated discussions on the best economic means to introduce a shipping line between the two countries.

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