The NEWS (Monrovia)

1 May 2014

Liberia: 'No Better Place to Anchor Economic Vision'

The Executive Director of the International Trade Center (ITC) says there is no better place for Liberia to anchor its economic vision and choices than becoming a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Madam Arancha Gonzalez said Liberia is the only country in Africa that is yet to become a member of the WTO.

Speaking at the official launch of Liberia National Export Strategy (2014-2019) and the National Trade Policy (2014-2019) in Monrovia, Madam Gonzalez stated that Liberia's membership to the WTO would provide predictability and transparency to Liberian businesses.

She said when Liberia becomes a member of WTO it will also provide great confidence amongst investors and companies that Liberia is a place for investment.

The ITC boss said small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the heart of Liberia's economy and other countries around the world.

She told the government of Liberia to make trade possible in the by ensuring that its operations are embedded in bedrock of rules and regulations that are clear to the people.

"This is not just another bureaucratic document, but a compass to achieving greater competitiveness starting with high priority areas... ." Madam Gonzalez said.

She indicated that the people of Liberia will prosper when MSMEs succeed, especially with the high positive prospects for SMEs in the country.

The ITC boss said the launch of the two policies were not the end of the story, but rather the starting point.

For her part, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf said MSMEs comprise a lion share of job creation and growth across almost every sector of Liberia.

President Sirleaf said agriculture remains the prime example of the strength of MSMEs in the country.

Johnson-Sirleaf said the new policies will support locally owned MSMEs through programs that encourage private sector development and job creation, especially for women and young people.

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