The Chairman of the National Investment Commission (NIC) of Liberia has said that a Malaysian palm oil company has invested 800 million dollars in the Liberian economy.
“We’ve concluded the investment with a Malaysian company from Sime Darby, which is going to rehabilitate the Gurthrie plantation – a government owned rubber plantation-, and they are going to invest 800 million dollars in palm oil,” Tolbert told the New Dawn in an interview.
The Malaysian company has already commenced full operations and has also taken over the Guthrie Plantations, where several unrests were staged by angry employees in demand of arrears.
“Sime Darby is the number one company in Malaysia on the Malaysian stock exchange, highly credible company. What is interesting about this 800 million dollars investment is that it is going to create some 20 to 30 thousand jobs for Liberians,” the NIC Chairman said.
Over 20,000 Jobs To Be Created
According to him, this is a long term sustainable investment that will last for the next 50 to 60 years.
“It can go on as long as you continue to replant. We hope to see them here for the next 100 years. Within the next 10 years, we will see 20 to 30 thousand people working in the plantations. It is in the business plan that they will have refined oil produced here for the domestic market and the international market,” Tolbert said.
As result of this investment, another palm oil company, from Indonesia, is expected to sign another concession with the Liberian government soon. “The competitors have heard about this. As result, we have also now attracted the largest palm oil company in Indonesia, another company called Golden Agri- Resources, is also coming here, ” Tolbert noted.
He said the Golden Agri- Resources, which is the second largest palm oil company in the world, has been in discussion with the government of Liberia for the past one year. They finally decided that they too will come and invest in Liberia, in the next six months.
“We will conclude the agreement with them, this is going to be bigger than Sime Darby, and we’ve a business plan on the table for 1.6 billion dollars,” the NIC boss added.