VP Stresses Investment in Agriculture to Chinese Bank Delegation

Monday, 20th July 2009
Monrovia, Liberia - Liberia’s Vice President, Joseph N. Boakai, has called for large-scale investment in the agriculture sector to enable Liberia to produce not only for local consumption but also for export. He said Liberia, which has a small population, has fertile soil, land and adequate rainfall to support such an initiative, but noted that what the country lacks is the expertise, technology and funding.

Vice President Boakai made the call on July 20 when a two-member delegation from the Henan Branch of the China Development Bank Corporation, headed by its Governor Wang Weijun, paid a courtesy call on him at his Capitol Building office.

“I am sure that investment in this area will be able to pay off in the long run,” Vice President Boakai said, adding, “Our country wants to move, and we are looking for partnership that will help us move.” The Vice President noted that there are also opportunities in other areas like tourism that could help usher Liberia out of poverty. “We are 162 years old. Developments we are talking about should have been done 50 or 60 years ago. We have a small population; there should be no reason why by now we cannot have good roads, good drinking water, good opportunities for Liberians to live good lives, with all the resources God has given us,” he noted.

Vice President Boakai observed that “if people see improvement in their lives and see progress, they will forget about conflict.” The Vice President lamented that Liberia is currently unable to take out loans, and added that he is looking forward to the day when Liberia would reach the HIPIC completion point and be able to take out a loan to build good roads and provide other opportunities for its citizens. The Liberian Vice President said he would like to see Chinese companies’ involvement in Liberia’s reconstruction and development.

Briefing Vice President Boakai, the Governor of the Henan Branch of China Development Bank, Mr. Weijung, said his delegation is in the country to conduct an assessment of the investment climate in the country. He said his bank supports Chinese enterprises to come to Liberia to engage in commercial farming. He said his bank is also here to explore opportunities for building infrastructure, including highways, water supply and power supply.

The Henan Bank delegation, which arrived in the country on July 17, is expected to return home July 20. The Henan Bank delegation was accompanied by Mr. Gou Haodong, an official of the Chinese Embassy in Liberia, Mr. Hu Bingwei of CHICO Construction Company, and Li Yifei of CHICO.