President George Manneh Weah assures his government’s sincerity and determination to work directly with the private sector to lessen the constraints and lower the cost of operating businesses in Liberia.
He made the commitment Tuesday, 24 July when he launched the private sector engagement forum for Liberia under the auspices of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) at the Millennium Guest House in Congo Town.
Mr. Weah says the event is designed to mobilize the Liberian private sector and for the IFC to present key initiatives and financing instruments which will support viable investment projects in Liberia.
He acknowledges that the private sector is an important strategic partner for the government in the implementation of the pro – poor agenda for prosperity and development.
Through the relevant ministries and agencies, Mr. Weah says government will further avail itself as it seeks to work with the private sector to ensure that Liberia continues to enjoy a sustained and inclusive peace and prosperity experienced today.
According to him, it is well known that around the world, especially in developed countries, the private sector is the main engine of growth and accounts for a large majority of jobs created in those economies.
President Weah says he is honored to launch the private sector engagement forum for Liberia under the auspices of the IFC, a constituent member of the World Bank Group.
Mr. Weah says by creating a vibrant private sector where both domestic and foreign investors can freely participate in the economy, Liberia will experience better opportunity for businesses.
In such a business environment, Mr. Weah sees the chance of more employees being hired, mainly the capable Liberian workforce. But he says his government expects that when given the requisite priority and support, the private sector will initiate and implement projects across all productive sectors of the Liberian economy.
Also speaking, IFC Vice President for Africa and the Middle East Mr. Sergio Pimenta says addressing development challenges in Liberia are not possible without addressing challenges in the private sector.
He acknowledges the determination of the Government of Liberia to address the challenges, assuring that IFC is here to provide support for the private sector in Liberia.
He also pledges the institution’s commitment to partnership with the government. Earlier, Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweah says government’s real long term solution to addressing the economic issues is a structural transformation of the economy.
But he suggests that it can only be done by sustained investment by the private sector which he indicates is achievable when the constraints of the private sector are relaxed.
According to Minister Tweah, government is making progress in relaxing electricity constraints with the operation of Mount Coffee, and also cites President Weah’s pledge to build at least 1,000 kilometers of roads over the next four years.
By Winston W. Parley