President Sirleaf Calls for Investment in Cocoa, Coffee Sector.

Tuesday, 22nd November 2016
President Sirleaf chats with NIC Executive Director  George Wisner.
President Sirleaf chats with NIC Executive Director George Wisner.
Photo Credit: Mr. James M. Jarresen-EXECUTIVE MANSION
Monrovia, Liberia: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says although the Liberian economy has depended on iron ore and rubber however, amid the drop in the prices of these commodities, she is calling for investment that will diversify agriculture mainly in the areas of cocoa, coffee and oil palm sectors to replace the two traditional engines of the Liberian economy.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the call on Tuesday, November 22, 2016, when she delivered the “Keynote Address at the opening of a One-Day Liberia-United Kingdom Trade and Investment Forum, held in the Ball Room of the Monrovia City Hall in Monrovia.
President Sirleaf said as a result of decline in the prices of iron ore and rubber, which have been the fulcrum of the Liberian economy over the years, there was a need for those gathering at the one-day Liberia-UK Trade & Investment Forum to focus on diversifying their investments particularly in the agricultural sector - focusing the cultivation of cocoa, coffee and oil palm industry to benefit farmers involved and grow the Liberian economy.
President Sirleaf said while she was quite aware that investors at the forum including representatives from Arcelor Mittal, APM Terminal, Equatorial Oil Palm, Dawnus, Hummingbird, African Petroleum and Bollore are all from Great Britain, she expressed the hope that they will see the need to diversify their investment opportunities in Liberia, particularly in the agriculture sector.
President Sirleaf stressed “If the issue of diversifying investment opportunities in Liberia is taken seriously by representatives of various British companies targeting the agricultural sector - to the point where farmers will eat, sell, and export; the Liberian economy is expected to pick up for the better”.
Speaking earlier, British Ambassador to Liberia, David Belgrove, recalled that in 2012, an investment forum of this nature initially took place in London, Great Britain, with recommendations at that time for the next meeting to take place in Liberia so as to enable British companies, which have not been in Liberia before to come on the ground and see investment opportunities in Liberia for themselves.
Ambassador Belgrove assured the gathering that the role of the British Government is to cooperate and collaborate with sub-Saharan countries including Liberia in supporting economic growth for the benefit of those countries and their citizenry. He said such diversifications in investment focus of country like Liberia is likely to benefit many people because it creates opportunities for many, including about 8 Liberians who have had the opportunity study in the United Kingdom, in different fields of interest.
For her part, NIC Chairperson Madam Etmonia Tarpeh, said government will continue to support its economic policy with a plan to diversify investment opportunities aimed at focusing on the agricultural sector. She assured the gathering that Liberia was now ready for business and as such, all those wishing to invest in the country should be assured that the National Investment Commission (NIC) is ready to support them.
The one-day Liberia-UK Trade & Investment Forum was attended by senior government officials including Finance & Development Planning Minister, Boima S. Kamara, Central Bank Governor, Milton A. Weeks, the Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA), Mr. Ian Yapp, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Liberia Electricity Corporation, Commerce Minister, Axel M. Addy and Mr. Dehpue Zuo, Deputy Foreign Minister for International Cooperation, international partners, among others.