27 February 2013

Liberia: Commerce Ready to Enforce Law

A special taskforce has been set up by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to ensure a full implementation of the law which sets aside 21 businesses exclusively for Liberians.

Deputy Commerce Minister for Public Affairs Rufus Neufville announced the reinforcement of the investors Act of 2010.

He said the taskforce has been mandated to ensure that violators of the law which gives right to Liberians to do particular businesses are dealt with accordingly.

The 21 businesses set aside exclusively for Liberians include supplier of sand, block making, peddling travel agencies, retail sale of rice and cement, auto repair shops with investments of not less than US$50,000, gas stations, and video clubs, among others.

He observed that the passage of the law has repeatedly been violated by non-Liberians.

He said it is predicated upon the violation of the Liberalization policy that the Ministry has set up a special taskforce to compel compliance.

The investment act, according to Deputy Minister Neufville, also has a second category of businesses with foreign ownership under certain conditions.

He listed businesses that foreigners can operate as production and supply of stone and granite, ice cream manufacturing, commercial printing, advertising agencies, graphics and commercial artistic, cinemas, production of poultry and poultry products, operation of water purification or bottling plant, hotel establishment, sale of animal and poultry feed, operation of heavy duty trucks, bakeries and sale of pharmaceuticals.

However, he said in order for foreigners to exclusively own these businesses, such investors need to have a total capital investment of not less than US$500,000.

The Deputy Minister noted that the method of enforcement would be announced periodically.

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