By State House Press Team :
FREETOWN: The Filipino Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Philippines to the Republic Sierra Leone, Nesto Paladhin has on (Monday) 15th August 2011 presented his letter of credence to President Ernest Bai Koroma.
The ceremony at State House was well attended by government ministers, Filipino diplomatic staff, officials at State House and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Addressing the gathering, the Filipino Ambassador based in Abuja said bilateral relations between the two countries have always remained excellent in socio-economic, political as well as cultural areas.
PHOTO : PRESIDENT KOROMA RECEIVES THE LETTERS OF CREDENCE
He expressed his government’s desire to share sound experiences with Sierra Leone, and commended the Government of President Ernest Bai Koroma for the warm hospitality it has always granted to Filipino citizens working in diverse fields in Sierra Leone.
Mr. Paladhin therefore advocated for the importation of Filipino products into Sierra Leone and implored President Koroma to consider visiting the Philippines in subsequent travels to Asia.
He disclosed that his country is on the verge of establishing a Honourary Consulate in Freetown, adding that both Sierra Leone and the Philippines have enjoyed long standing diplomatic relations.
The diplomat also pledged to continue to work for further expansion of bilateral relations.
President Koroma in response expressed his profound gratitude for the kind sentiments conveyed by Paladhin from President Benigno S. Aquino III of the Republic of Philippines.
He recalled the long history of friendship between the two countries.
‘In the past 20 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, the two countries have supported each other on a number of issues. I believe that further strengthening of our mutual ties and cooperation will yield greater results for the governments and peoples of our countries’, said President Koroma.
He therefore disclosed that as developing nations, economic and technical partnerships and networking are viable underpins for strengthened bilateral relations.
The Head of State also called for the expansion of trade between the two countries as he described Sierra Leone as a business friendly country.
President Koroma invited Filipino businesses to seek out Sierra Leone’s huge economic potentials in the agricultural, infrastructural and mining sectors.
‘We believe that these engagements and increased trade between us will accelerate the pace of development of both countries’, he said.
President Koroma said Sierra Leone’s attendance of the Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD) in October 2008 and the Special Non-Aligned Movement Meeting on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace and Development (SNAMMM) in March 2010 impacted on the country positively to a very large extent.
He noted that religion has never being an obstacle to national development in Sierra Leone, for which the credit lies with the citizenry of the nation.
The presentation of credentials by the Filipino Ambassador Nesto Paladhin on Monday at State House marks the firm consolidation bilateral relations established over twenty years ago.