Dubai — His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, from France in Europe and now in Dubai in the Middle East, has been marketing Liberia's rich investment climate and wooing some of the world's major investors to take advantage of his administration's patronizing policies.
Speaking to an assembly of international investors, entrepreneurs and governments Monday, November 18, 2019, President Weah noted that his administration has re-worked Liberia's trade and commerce ecosystem, making it ideal and perfect for serious investment.
He unveiled Liberia's vast natural resources, including timber, iron ores, rubber, gold, diamonds, fertile soil and favorable climatic conditions, which he said are underpinned by his government's anti-graft policy and zero tolerance for corruption.
"You will certainly not regret investing in Liberia," the President told the pensive audience. "My Government is fair and honest, and my people are hospitable and loving."
In conversation with CNN's Africa Correspondent, Eleni Giokos, who moderated President Weah's presentation, the Liberian Leader spoke of improved conditions and policies for visa issuance which is done either on arrival or online, government's anti-graft, and cordiality as his government's way of attracting meaningful investors to Liberia.
He said further: "I am honest and so is my government. Many of you here today are witnesses to my sincerity. During my soccer career, I didn't cheat or dive to win a penalty like many do; yet, I became the best player in the world. This same honesty I bring to politics and governance."
The President Weah urged the audience to ask those currently doing businesses in Liberia to verify his claim of the current business climate under his leadership.
"My goal is to help the people of Liberia live in peace and have better life. With my team of cabinet ministers, and our counterparts in the Judiciary and Legislature, we are committed to achieving this," the President said.
He added that Liberia and Africa need sincere investors-investors who, he said, will not defraud the people of Liberia in taxes and will "not swindle our government; investors who are true and honest partners."
The Liberian Leader told the forum to pay special attention to startups and the youth as they are the future of any cooperation.
Prior to the interactive forum with Correspondent Eleni Giokos, President Weah held a closed-door meeting with the President of Dubai and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, H.H. Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Later Monday, 18 November, 2019 President Weah will hold bilateral discussions with the President of United Arab Emirates who is also Commander-in-Chief of the Army, His Royal Highness Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi.
The President is attending the Global Business Africa 2019 held under the theme "Scale Up Africa". It is being organized by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
It aims to underline the important role of cross border cooperation in supporting and accelerating Africa's next phase of sustainable economic growth and development.
According to H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Chamber since its inception, GBF Africa has served as a catalyst for UAE-Africa economic cooperation and business exchange. "The 2019 edition will highlight new high-potential areas where African companies can collaborate with their UAE counterparts to create new business opportunities and capitalize on existing trade and investment potential", he noted.
Non-oil trade between Dubai-Africa has increased steadily in recent years, amounting to $37.2 billion in 2018. The trend reflects the expanding trade ties and growing business confidence between the two regions.
Beyond high-level speakers and participants, GBF Africa 2019 offers a comprehensive program delving into key trends and technologies reshaping African economies, with interactive sessions and panel discussions putting a focus on entrepreneurship, innovation, game-changing partnerships, success stories, opportunities and challenges.
Among the high-level dignitaries attending GBF Africa 2019 are H.E. George Weah, President of Liberia; Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe, H.E. Danny Faure, President of Seychelles; and 18 ministers from Sierra Leone, Ghana, Namibia, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Senegal, Uganda, Malawi, Congo, Tanzania, Niger and Liberia. Also attending are senior public and private sector stakeholders from across Africa, including former heads of state, CEOs, entrepreneurs, industry experts and economists.
A fortnight ago, President Weah was in Paris advocating for investors to come to Liberia. He outlined and committed Liberia's readiness for business with the rest of the world as well as ensuring timely issuance of visas online or on arrival.