Ahead of the departure of French Ambassador to Liberia Mr. Gerard Larome, one regret that the Liberian President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, has been that there has been not much French investment in the country with the exception of the Total service stations across the country.
Quoted in a press release issued by the Executive Mansion here on Friday, 18 October, the Liberian leader said: "One regret ... was that there had not been much French investment in the country, the Total service stations being an exception."
But President Sirleaf said the fact that Ambassador Larome planned to return to Liberia and to attract French businesses to the country was a good signal, as she looked forward to his return in the coming months.
The outgoing French envoy last Thursday paid a farewell call on President Sirleaf at her Congo Town residence, when he informed her that he will depart on October 23. The Executive Mansion says Ambassador Larome's successor will arrive shortly thereafter. Mr. Larome presented his Letters of Credence to President Sirleaf on December 2009, as French Ambassador accredited to Liberia.
However, the Liberian leader said she was sad to see the Ambassador go, because he had worked very closely with her administration, keeping officials informed.
Because of him, the President said, she had photographs of herself with three French Presidents, including Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy, and the most recent being President François Hollande who, in November 2012, bestowed upon her France's highest award and public distinction, the Grand Croix of the Légion d'Honneur.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Larome says Liberia means a lot to him, telling President Sirleaf that he likes the way she runs the country. The French envoy expressed hopes to return in a private business consulting capacity. He used the occasion to draw to the President's attention a number of pending issues he hoped could be decided before his departure.