The Business Climate Working Group constituted by President George Manneh Weah President will on the 8th and 9th of March hold another round of meeting in Gompa City, Nimba County.
According to sources, the theme of the two-day forum is, “Trading across Borders,” one of the indicators of the World Bank Doing Business Report. According to the World Bank Report, Liberia ranks lower than more than 75% of all the countries in trading across borders. The report cited the delay in processing import and export documents as well as the time it takes to transship goods across borders.
The meeting will focus on import and export as well as transshipment of goods and services across borders. According to P. Emmanuel Munyeneh, consultant and Technical Economic Advisor to the Minister of Finance and Development Planning, the meeting will bring together all actors involved in land and sea port related activities.
Some of the speakers expected to attend this two day forum will include officials of government, members from the private sector as well as from the donor community and embassies near Monrovia. Delegates from ECOWAS and the Mano River Union will also be present to share their experiences on the importance of trading across borders.
Mr. Munyeneh noted that some of the thematic topics to be discussed include the relevance of import and export permits, border patrol and anti-smuggling, the role of digital economy in cross borders trade, government revenue, payments, processes and constraints, expansion of port operations among others.
Speakers from the National Port Authority, AMP Terminals, the LRA, Custom Brokers, BIVAC, Central Bank of Liberia and the Ministry of Commerce will make presentations.
An international trade and port specialist from the World Bank Group, the International Financial Corporation will also present the IFC’s perspectives on port operations and international best practices.
Members of the Liberia Chamber of Commerce, the Liberia Business Association, PATEL, and the Cross Borders Women Association will also share their experiences and lessons learned in cross borders trade. Donor and bilateral partners including EU, USAID, SIDA, World Bank, UNDP, DFID among other dignitaries will be in attendance as well.
It can be recalled that in October of last year, H.E. Dr. George M. Weah constituted the Business Climate Working Group with the mandate to among other things explore evolving challenges and prospects of the Liberian business environment and workout helpful plans and strategies towards improvement.
The President further directed the Working Group to identify quick ‘low hanging fruits’ in the business climate and deliver them in the shortest possible time.
Doing a recent Business Climate meeting focusing on Getting Credit, Resolving Insolvency and Enforcing Contracts, participants representing both the public and private sectors including judges, lawmakers, donor partners and members of the business community agreed that there was a need to resolve some of the challenges to a business friendly environment.
This meeting, as expected, will shed light on the importance of trading across borders and how it can help improve the economy through economic growth and jobs creation. One can only hope that resolutions from these meetings will be implemented to the letter.