The Inquirer (Monrovia)

Liberia: Big Business Summit Today - Forbes Magazine, Philanthropists to Attend

"Private sector development in Liberia is brimming with great promise. Over the last eight years, Liberia has maintained positive growth in real GDP. In 2011 the real GDP grew by 6.9 per cent, contributing to significant optimism about the future of the country.

With one of the highest FDI to GDP ratios in the world, at more than $16 billion since 2006, and a growing population, Liberia presents new opportunities for domestic and international to investors," Commerce and Industry Minister Axel M. Addy has said. According to a Commerce Ministry release, the Government of Liberia has prioritized the need to strengthen the environment for private-sector growth and job creation.

The release signed by Minister Addy noted that in 2013, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI), along with other government ministries, collaborated with key international organizations working in the private sector to highlight potential industries, sectors and businesses currently expanding and ready for investment.

The Minister also noted that in April, MoCI held Liberia's first Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME) Conference and Trade Fair, which featured 50 Liberian-owned businesses and in just six months the MSME Conference has led to new business worth $200,000.

"To further promote Liberia as a stable country ready for investment, MoCI, in partnership with Forbes, is hosting the Liberia Business Summit to discuss the opportunities and challenges for entrepreneurs in Liberia," the ministry stated.

The Ministry said the Liberian Business Summit will bring together leading Liberian businessmen and women, international entrepreneurs and philanthropists, and government officials to discuss opportunities and constraints to raising money and growing businesses in the Liberian economy.

The event will include two panel discussions. The first panel will discuss strategies of raising money for business opportunities in emerging economies and will feature representatives from City Financial and Forbes Magazine, international philanthropists and prominent Liberian business owners.

The second panel features senior government officials and representatives from leading organizations promoting Liberian business growth and entrepreneurship. Both panels will be followed by an in-depth question and answer session from an audience made up of business owners and international firms working in Liberia.

Following the panel discussions, nine successful Liberian business owners will present their businesses to the Forbes philanthropists and distinguished guests.

In return, the philanthropists will provide a valuable learning opportunity to the Liberian businesses by sharing their own ideas, experiences and lessons learned.

These sessions will be limited to just 10-15 guests, 3 presenters, 3 philanthropists, and 3-4 additional guests for a more intimate setting that will result in constructive feedback to improve their business plans and proposals.

The Business Summit will be an exciting, interactive event with unlimited exposure and opportunity for Liberian businessmen and women who are on the cusp of overcoming their challenges and expanding their businesses for the betterment of Liberia.

Accordingly, the event is made possible with support from USAID Building Markets, Coca Cola and Arcelor Mittal.

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