Private Enterprise Investment Opportunities In Liberia
Economic And Socio-Politica Demographics
Liberia is richly endowed with mineral resources, forests, and a climate favorable to agriculture. The country has been a producer and exporter of basic products, primary raw timber and rubber. Local manufacturing, mainly foreign owned is expanding in scope. Additionally, Liberia posseses these specific economic and socio-political demographics.
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Current Market Conditions And The Priority Sectors
The Government of Liberia is rebuilding infrastructures, improving education and healthcare, developing capacities and expanding the economy through the growth of small and mid-size businesses. Additionally, business is thriving in Liberia and the fundamentals of our economy are strong.
Liberia is showing signs of strong economic performance and has provided sound business prospects for potential investors. Financing to stimulate private sector growth is a critical component of any economic growth strategy. Multilateral and bilateral financing organizations are rising to these challenges, providing fundamental guidance and sources of capital for private sector investment.
Our government is encouraging foreign capital investment that would provide support to increase private enterprise that is important to create jobs and expand growth in the sectors of agriculture and forestry, infrastructure development, transportation, mining, natural resources, and construction.The Government's strategy for accelerating economic growth has three prongs:
rebuilding basic infrastructure
restoring production in the natural resource sectors while ensuring that the benefits are widely shared, and
reducing production cost to lay the foundation for diversification of the economy
During the past three years we took major strides towards rebuilding and reintegrating our economy into the world economy. Economic growth increased from 5.3 percent in 2005, to 9.5 percent in 2007, the ban on diamond and timber exports has been removed and new process has been adopted, new forestry law and regulations established, and timber exports are expected to restart in the next few weeks.
Our level of exports rose to US$260 million in 2008, the capital and liquidity positions of banks operating in Liberia have significantly improved, and the exchange rate has been broadly stable, thereby containing inflation. In 2008, new foreign direct investments were estimated at US$200 million. Last year the IMF Board approved a three-year program supported by a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) to help maintain macroeconomic stability and achieve the growth objectives under this program.
To encourage private investment, our government has proposed a reduction of the business income tax rate from 35% to 25%, reduction in the presumptive tax on businesses with turnovers above L$201,000 from 4% to 2% of their gross quarterly income, and elimination of the 2% advance tax as a minimum tax on businesses with turnovers above L$5 million. These tax rate revisions form part of the comprehensive revision of the Revenue Code which is presently being finalized.
In the agriculture sector, we sought to expand rice production with aggregate private investment of US$32.5 million and we shall continue support to small farmers by providing seeds, tools and processing machines that will add impetus to this effort. The soil of Liberia is arable and has the potential to support large-scale commercial farming for crops such as rice, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, rubber and the development of a domestic agro processing industry.
Rubber and Oil Palm:
Revitalization of our traditional rubber industry is critical to the long term growth potential of our agriculture export sector. We have implemented an aggressive ongoing replanting program by Liberian farmers and by the large existing plantations to significantly increase the overall concession production of rubber and oil palm. Our government is encouraging ongoing effort to attract investment for reactivation of oil palm and rubber plantations in the country.
Our total forestry land area of 9.58 million hectares represents one of the 36 hot spots in the world with diverse plant and animal species and 240 timber species. We have commenced timber sales contracts for Liberian timber operators to expand growth in this sector.
Housing, Transportation, Maritime, Infrastructure, and Mining:
Housing is in demand in Liberia since most of the infrastructure sustained damage during the conflict. Vast opportunities exist for construction companies, builders and suppliers of building materials. Presently,there is a potential for the provision of transportation and logistics services as well as the potential of timber production and fishing in Liberia. Mining has historically been the largest contributor to the economy. Liberia is endowed with significant amount of mineral resources especially Iron ore, gold anddiamond.
Operating a Business in Liberia
Liberia has adopted the "One Stop Shopping Center" concept to process and conclude investment documents; by removing the bureaucratic bottleneck of an investor moving between agencies of Government, the NIC saves investors considerable time and resources.
All agencies of government provide an investor-friendly atmosphere with the belief that the growth opportunities in the Liberian economy can only reach their true potential with foreign direct investments. Therefore, the Government of Liberia provides a wide range of investment incentives and strong legal protection to the existing and would-be investors; these include a wide range of inducements (tax incentives and protection for infant industries). The trade and investment climate is positive. Liberia welcomes partnership for progress in industry, trade and technology.
Embassy Of Liberia Trade & Investment Liaison Office .
Welcome To LACC
Welcome to the Liberian-American Chamber of Commerce, your gateway to doing business in Liberia. Our goal is to help keep you informed regarding Liberia's business and investment potentials or opportunities. Our web site will contains information for entreprenuers as well as consumers regarding what to look for before you make that plunge in doing business in Liberia
Your Guide To Doing Business In Liberia
LACC, in its effort to encourage Liberians and Americans to do business in Liberia, will provide the information, knowledge and up dates needed to establish business in Liberia. One of LACC's goals is to become the gateway to doing business in Liberia, a clearinghouse for business information.
Liberia, A Country In Transition
Currently moving forward from a time of transition, Liberia has for the past four years, together with international partners, worked to ensure a peaceful society and to revive its once thriving economy, but the long path of reconstruction remains a severe challenge. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in Accra, Ghana, in 2003 still holds strong with the support of a 15,000 strong UN peacekeeping mission. The National Transition Government of Liberia (NTGL) was succeeded by peaceful legislative and presidential elections in October 2005, with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf becoming Liberia’s-and Africa’s-first democratically elected female head of state