Liberia, China sign first steel manufacturing deal

Liberia and a Chinese company signed Friday the first ever steel manufacturing agreement in the West African country in more than 169 years, heralding the end to the exportation of its rich unprocessed iron ores.

The $200 million agreement was signed between Tidfore Investment Company and the Liberian government that was represented by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Finance and Lands and Mines ministers and other senior government officials.

Program making official signing ceremony for the Agreement between the Government of Liberia and TIDFORE (Hong Kong) Investment (LICEMCO) for the Establishment of a Steel Plant in Liberia. – Photo Credit: Mr. Abel Blackie-EXECUTIVE MANSION

Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yue and officials of the Chinese company were also present at the signing ceremony.

“This is the first boost to our economy,” and “the first time our own local raw materials will reach the finish point and exported to other countries”, Johnson Sirleaf said.

“The company made a commitment that the unskilled workers will be only Liberians and hope they will meet that commitment,” she added.

According to the agreement, about 1,000 jobs will be provided to Liberians.

Finance Minister and Justice Minister Signing the Agreement. Photo Credit: Mr. Abel Blackie-EXECUTIVE MANSION

Zhang Yue, for his part, welcomed the agreement saying, “this investment should be kept as a young baby until it starts its full operation from the ground.

“This investment will bring so much relief in the economy sector of Liberia,” he added.

Liberia is Africa’s third largest iron ore exporter after South Africa and Mauritania, and ranks 22 in the world.

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About Cholo Brooks 16147 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.