Due to a number of banking issues facing the country, the Liberia Chamber of Commerce (LCC) held an emergency Executive Council (EC) meeting on Tuesday, January 22, 2019, in preparation for a meeting with the Bankers’ Association of Liberia to be followed by another meeting with the central bank of Liberia (CBL).
The Council, in its deliberation on the challenges in the banking sector, concluded that the exercise would be more productive from a birds-eye view on policy, banking and economic issues rather than taking a sector isolated approach.
Fundamental issues affecting the economic growth and development of the country must be addressed holistically and timely to sustain the economy and create 20,000 to 30,000 new jobs.
The EC of the Chamber, which is the representative voice of the business community, voted unanimously to reach out to H. E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia and his Economic Management Team (EMT) for his intervention to discuss and find timely solutions to the economic challenges faced by the country.
In consideration of the proposed meeting with H.E. President of the republic of Liberia, Dr. George Manneh Weah and his economic team, the chamber is requesting the consideration, and good faith indulgence of all government bodies including the:
Liberia revenue authority (LRA), National Port Authority (NPA), Global Tracking & Maritime Solutions (GTMS), APM Terminal (AMPT), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Public Health Institute of Liberia (LNPHIL), to suspend the introduction and/or implementation of any new or recently activated levies and/or fees on their books or those being administered by service concession contractors.
The “Chamber” in representation and partnership with the Liberian Business Association (LIBA), Liberia Marketing Association (LMA), Fula Business Association (FBA), the World Lebanese Culture Union (WLCU), Liberia Bankers Association (LBA), Patriotic Entrepreneurs of Liberia (PATEL), Liberia Agriculture Companies Association (LACA), concessionaires and others, are the lead implementers of the government of Liberia Pro-poor Agenda for Development and Progress (PADP); we are the employers.
Therefore, the chamber takes note of the issues at hand: high prices, multiple taxes, levies/fees; foreign exchange; labor unrest; judicial challenges; concessions land; high unemployment; etc. the chamber looks forward to a genuine partnership with government to move the economy forward.
The chamber is committed to forge a new partnership with the government for the upliftment of Liberians and Liberian businesses through employment, mentorship and empowerment.
We are committed to promoting and supporting a balanced economy that positions Liberians as participants in the economy. We are doing so by our actions. The Chamber sponsored LIBA and PATEL members to participate in the African growth & opportunity act (AGOA) Trade Fair in the USA, and with contribution and support from the government of Liberia, a second trade fair in Egypt. The Chamber is working to secure medium term credit from abroad to support local manufacturing, processing and assembly in Liberia.
Working with the minister of finance, the chamber is leading the coordinating process to obtain the Africa Trade Insurance coverage for liberia for the purpose of providing investors’ confidence to forge ahead with investment opportunities in
Liberia. It is worth noting that the chamber has intervened in the past years in advising government on various national economic issues.
In 2008, the Chamber developed the market price index with the Ministry of Commerce; at the outset of the world financial crisis that emanated from the west; the chamber recommended tax relief on essential commodities, e.g. the annual executive order renewal of the 2.00usd tax relief on rice; in 2009, the chamber held a national symposium on the theme: looking beyond the global financial crisis– the search for innovation solutions.
A press statement from the Liberia Chamber of Commerce (LCC) Executive Council issued on January 25th, 2019 concluded.