Vice President Boakai Woos Italian Investors

Sunday, 14th September 2008
Bibbona, Italy - Liberia’s Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has assured Italian investors that Liberia has many opportunities in the mining, maritime, fishing and tourism industries  that they can take advantage of.
He said Liberia was rich in minerals such iron ore, gold and diamonds that need to be exploited. “We have just granted contracts to three companies to start exploring for oil in the country,” he added.
Vice President Boakai gave the assurance Thursday when he addressed a cross-section of Italian businessmen, administrators, politicians and from other walks of life during a dinner hosted by Liberia’s Acting Consul-General Varo Junior Macchi at the Marinetta Hotel in Italian city of Bibbona.
Addressing officials of the Yatch Club of Bibbona earlier, Vice President Boakai explained that Liberia has 300 kilometers of coastline and that Italian ship owners can also consider investing in marine transport and tourism.
“Liberia has some of the best beaches on the West Coast of Africa, and abundant forests, making investment in eco-tourism a lucrative venture in Liberia,” the Liberian Vice added.
He said with the growing friendship between Liberia and Italy, he would like to see Italians take advantage of the excellent investment opportunities in the country.
Vice President Boakai hoped Italian investors like Vianini and Salvatore who were doing business in Liberia before the civil conflict, would return to Liberia and take advantage of the vast opportunities in post-conflict Liberia.
He hoped Italian businessmen would organize a trade mission to visit Liberia so that they can see for themselves the vast opportunities in Liberia.
During the dinner, Vice President Boakai gowned Consul General Varo Junior Macchi as Paramount Chief Saah Taylor of Foya District, for “standing by Liberia at the time of its greatest need”.
“Varo is a very special person who championed the cause of Liberia when she was considered a pariah, failed state. He has gone beyond the call of duty. On behalf of our President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, I approve all he is doing for Liberia,” Vice President Boakai said.
In remarks at the dinner,  Acting-General Consul Junior Macchi disclosed that through his effort, 16 Italians who had falsified Liberian diplomatic passports were arrested and incarcerated.
He said Liberia’s image in Europe in general and Italy in particular has improved tremendously since the  current government  assumed the reigns of power, as evidenced by the Italian president sending his chief of protocol to receive Vice President Boakai upon arrival in Rome.