President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, on Wednesday, October 28,2015, held several meetings with entrepreneurs on Liberia’s development in Delhi, India.
President Sirleaf – current attending the India-Africa Summit, met with the Chairman and Managing Director of the Export-Import Bank of India (India Exim Bank), Yaduvendra and delegation, executives of Engineering Projects India (EPI), director of Silver Touch Technologies, Himansha Jain and delegation; GMR Family, as well as executives of Western Cluster, among others.
According to a dispatch from New Delhi, the meetings were held separately, ahead of the third edition of the India – Africa Forum Summit which began on Thursday and ends toda, Friday, October 30, 2015, respectively.
The President arrived in New Delhi, India late Tuesday afternoon to join her African colleagues at the Summit, which will foster consultations at the highest political level between the heads of state and governments of all 54 nations across Africa and the Indian government to give a new thrust to an age-old partnership. The dispatch also said the summit will also provide an opportunity to not only reflect on the past, but to define the road ahead in tune with the present times.
But during the meeting with executives of India’s Exim Bank, the Liberia President indicated that many programs, including its Line of Credit Agreement, have not been touched due to the Ebola crisis, noting that she was excited to be back in India to hold discussions on how to move forward with the outstanding projects.
She told the entrepreneurs that she was glad to meet with the country’s new Prime Minister, Narendra Damodardas Modi, accelerate the commencement of outstanding projects, stimulate new interventions and strengthen Liberia-India relations.
Based on the bank’s interest, President Sirleaf also told the bank’s executives that intervention in the health sector was also a necessity as Liberia rebuilds it healthcare system after the Ebola crisis. At the meeting with the India Exim Bank delegation, the President discussed the implementation of the US$144 million Line of Credit Agreement for the energy sector.
Now that Ebola has been defeated, managing director Mathur informed President Sirleaf that the bank was ready for the execution of the agreement beginning with infrastructure- most especially with the transmission and distribution of power remaining the focus; but was quick to also point out that the bank was keen on social sector projects on the African continent with the building of healthcare infrastructure as a priority.
For their part, Engineering Project India Limited (EPI) – a Government of India enterprise, briefed the Liberian President on their interest in the power, health and general infrastructure sector, especially the desire to assist the John F. Kennedy Medical Center on the basis of public-private partnership.
The group indicated that its goal would be to help Liberia advance with its plans to build a resilient healthcare system and proposed the signing of a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The group is expected to pay a visit to Liberia in two weeks on a feasibility tour in 30 days.
At the meeting with Silver Touch Technologies Limited, President Sirleaf was briefed on the group’s engagement with the Liberia Revenue Authority on its tax system, as well as the visa process system, also expressing interest in the country’s educational sector with emphasis on Information Technology and computer engineering, the dispatch concluded.