Few years ago, President George Weah set up an Ad Hoc Business Climate Working Group to look into ways and means of improving the country’s business environment. Charged with the responsibility, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning set up the Business Climate Secretariat to lead on the coordination and diagnostics of the business climate in the country.
The months that followed witnessed the holding of technical meetings aimed at identifying binding constraints and workable solutions not only to improving the country’s scores on the World Bank ease of Doing Business Report but to also pave the way for an enabling business environment for Liberians and foreigners to participate with equity.
The final report of the Business Climate Secretariat outlined several key challenges that inhibit the ease of doing business in the country. Efforts to resolve some the problems have not been easy to go by, especially in the areas of trading across borders which involves land and sea transport. The World Bank ease of Doing Business 2020 report ranked Liberia at 175 among 190 economies on the Trading across borders. The country’s scores in Resolving Insolvency, Enforcing Contracts and Access to Credit have also been lagging.
In order to reexamine and reassess the gains made and the challenges that still loomed, the Business Climate Secretariat is scheduled to hold a one-day National Symposium at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town on 10th June 2021. `The Conference which is intermingled with the 4th National Judicial Conference which begins on 7th June 2021. The theme of the National Judicial Conference: The Law, Public Policy and the Economy will look at the nexus between the rule of law and access to justice as an enabler and facilitator of an improved business climate.
Plingloh Emmanuel Munyeneh, the head of the Business Climate Secretariat at the MFDP noted that the scheduled meeting will bring together major players in the private and public sectors. Specifically, this year’s summit will examine the linkages between three key World Bank’s indicators: enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency and access to credit in relations to access to justice and the rule of law. Speakers from the Liberia Chamber of Commerce, Liberia Business Association, the Commercial and Central Banks, the National Investment Commission are expected to make presentations.
The rationale for the mélange of this year’s business climate meeting with the 4th National Judicial Conference is intended to look at the rule of law and the dispensation of justice as pathways to private sector growth, efficiency in free market operations, equilibrium in supply and demand side economics, as well as relationship between lenders and borrowers. According to Munyeneh, laws derive from the fountain of public policy must serve the common good of the people and by extension improve the well-being of society.
The country’s business partners including the Fula, Lebanese and Indian communities are expected to provide insights on decades of business activities and what lessons have been learned so far. International actors including the International Financial Corporation is expected to provide international perspectives on resolving insolvency and enforcing contracts as well as impediments to financial market development. Representatives of some of the country’s concessionaires including Golden Veroleum, Mittal Steel, Firestone and APM Terminal Liberia are expected to be in attendance.-Press release