Liberia: 'During My Soccer Career, I Did Not Cheat to Win a Penalty'

-- Pres. Weah tells 'trade gurus'

President George Weah appears to be putting his reputation as a former professional footballer on the line as a way to convince investors that under his watch, their investments in Liberia would be safe.

In a bid to market Liberia's rich investment climate and woo some of the world's major investors to take advantage of his administration's patronizing policies, the President said: "I am honest, and so is my government. Many of you here today are witnesses to my sincerity. During my soccer career, I did not 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."

According to an Executive Mansion release, the President spoke these words to an assembly of international investors, entrepreneurs and governments on Monday, November 18, 2019. He said that his administration has re-worked Liberia's trade and commerce ecosystem, making it ideal and perfect for serious investment.

He spoke of 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 his audience, adding, "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, President Weah 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.

Though, the country's economy is suffering to gain strength, 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 of being fair and well improved.

"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 President 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.

President Weah was later on expected to hold bilateral discussions with the President of United Arab Emirates, 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 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.

Meanwhile, President returned to the country yesterday via the Roberts International Airport in Margibi County.

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