Chinese Wood Firm Foresees Economic Dividends For Liberia, Invests US$35 Million
The management of Shangyou Wood Industries Development (Liberia) has forecast huge economic benefits in job creation, financial resources, and infrastructural development for Liberia, following a full launch of its operations in the country.
Shanyou Wood Industries Development (Liberia) is part of Shangyou Liberia furniture industry park project, which has a total investment of US$35 million.
The China-aid project, which came to Liberia in November 2017, according to the company’s General Manager Eric Chen, seeks to build a number of furniture industrial bases in Liberia within five years, tapping into Liberia’s huge reserve of rubber wood.
“The production layout will be gradually developed from rough to deep wood processing to finish furniture manufacturing through the investment of capital, technology, equipment and talents,” Eric told the Liberia News Agency (LINA) in an interview in Monrovia on Thursday.
Annual production capacity of various types of rubber wood, according to Eric, will be 400,000 square meters after completion of the project by 2023.
Emphasizing the economic benefits that Liberia stands to gain, Eric noted that the project hopes to achieve a scale of US$350 million and as well provide local employment of up to 5,000 people.
He said the project will effectively improve local employment rate, national income and labor skills, adding that, “it will also promote the growth of foreign investment and exports trade in Liberia.”
Eric maintained that the project will promote infrastructural and economic development of logistics and ports, which will play a positive role in building up the image of Chinese enterprises.
While noting also, that the wood development project and other China-aid projects will enhance the friendship between China and Liberia, Eric indicated that the formulation of suitable policies by the Government of Liberia to eradicate bottleneck and bureaucracies will greatly impact the project which is expected to start in late March this year.
As a member of the natural rubber kingdom of Africa, Liberia is rich in forest resources, with a forest coverage rate of 59 percent, accounting for 42 percent of the Guinea forest belt (West Africa) which has 2.4 million acres of rubber trees.
As contained in its 2017 proposal for Furniture Industrial Park in Liberia, Shangyou Industries (Liberia) highlighted that due to the lack of capital, equipment and technique in Liberia, rubber trees after 20 years latex-production period cannot be cut down and used in other forms but are left to overage in existing plantations.
Currently, the company noted, that there is a small capacity factory, which is consuming very small quantity of rubber trees.
Other rubber trees are naturally consumed by burning and charcoal production methods.
It is a waste of resource, the company noted, adding that this also destroys the environment, thereby creating a problem that needs to be urgently solved in Liberia.
It said that with more than 4.6 million people, Liberia has an abundant labor resource which is very suitable for the development of manufacturing.