Liberian Delegation Woos Chinese Investors

Tuesday, 7th July 2009
Shanghai, China - Liberian Vice President Joseph N. Boakai and delegation have held series of discussions with Chinese officials aimed at further strengthening trade ties between Liberia and China.

During discussions with the Vice Mayor of Shanghai, Tang Dengjie Monday, Vice President Boakai and Planning and Economic Affairs Minister Amara Konneh encouraged Chinese businessmen to consider investing in post-war Liberia.

Vice President Boakai and Planning Minister Konneh informed officials of the Municipality of Shanghai that most of Liberia’s natural resources are intact and that the post-war nation has immense investment potential, especially in the mining, agriculture, transportation and communication industries.

Vice President Boakai called on Chinese shipbuilders to consider establishing a ship building plant in Liberia, noting that this would help the war-torn nation to diversity its transport sector.

“We would like to see our goods moved by sea; so interest could be manifested in that area. Small boats can help to move goods and services easily in a nation whose road network is in a state of disrepair.Indeed there are lots of business opportunities in Liberia,”
he emphasized.

Speaking during the meeting, Planning and Economic Affairs Minister Konneh noted that investment opportunities can also be found in the fishing and mining industries, pointing out that the Beijing based Chinese company, China Union, has signed an agreement worth more than one billion dollars with the Liberian government for the extraction of iron ore in Liberia.

He said statistics has shown that an estimated ten percent of imports into Liberia come from China, noting, “This means that there is increasing demand for Chinese goods’” Mr. Konneh noted.

He said with the huge development taking place in China, especially in the construction area, the demand for steel would increase, adding “Liberia will be a good place to turn for extraction of iron for steel production”.

“We will appreciate China venturing into Liberia so that the two countries can forge a partnership in iron ore mining and other areas,” Mr. Konneh emphasized..

In remarks, the Vice Chairman of the Municipality of Shanghai, Mr.Dengjie said companies are the major players in the Chinese economy.

He promised to work with the Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, His Excellency Zhou Yuxiao to see whether there are Chinese companies interested in investing in Liberia.

He named areas in which Chinese companies might want to participate as construction of super highways and electricity generation.

Mr. Dengjie informed Vice President Boakai and delegation that the total investment in Shanghai is between US$400-500 billion, and that government investment constitutes only 20 percent of this amount.

The visit to the Municipality of Shanghai was preceded by a visit to the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition, where the Vice President and delegation were given a briefing of the history of Shanghai and plans to further modernize this city which has a population of 19 million.

Already, the city has the highest TV Tower in Asia and the third highest in the world.