The Country Manager of the World Bank, Inguna Dobraja, has pledged the bank’s commitment to work together with stakeholders in moving forward the trade reform agenda to create more inclusive growth and opportunities for Liberians.
Madam Dobraja said that the Liberian Government has made significant progress in improving the institutional framework for good economic governance, with public financial management processes now automated.
The World Bank boss made the commitment Wednesday at the validation workshop of the Liberia Diagnostic Trade Integration Study held at the Monrovia City Hall.
She noted that, according to the World Bank’s doing business report comparing 184 countries, Liberia has moved up in ranking in terms of overall ease of doing business by more than 10 points from 167th position in 2008 to 149 position in 2013.
She said the institutional framework for trade facilitation has been strengthened with the recent introduction of ASYCUDA (Automated System for Custom Data).
She explained that focusing on trade domestically is important since engaging in trade activities is the livelihood of many Liberians such as people doing petty trading in the streets of Monrovia, small farmers in rural areas, fishermen along the coast, noting that they all could contribute and benefit more from economic growth through trade.
Madam Dobraja emphasized that the role of the government will be to create equal opportunities for all through access to markets, resources, noting that an unbiased regulatory environment is required for both foreign direct investors and businesses that are run by Liberians, adding that this is a prerequisite for building an inclusive society and sustainable development.
She stressed that the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study builds on these inputs and aims to assist the Liberian Government developing a competitive trade strategy that will help tap the potential of Liberia’s abundant natural resources and promote export diversification.