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     Events » Investment Events »
UK-Liberia Investment Outreach

Introduction/ Background

Liberia has set its eye on pursuing a growth trajectory after a period of sustained economic downturn induced by a health crisis and decline in the prices of our primary commodities since 2014. Liberia once prided itself as one of the fastest growing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to the economic downturn, Liberia was engaged with high profile international investors seeking investment opportunities in emerging markets. This effort is being sustained with the execution of the proposed UK-Liberia Investment Outreach.

Sectors to be highlighted during this outreach includes: Agriculture, Energy, Health, Infrastructure, Logistics, Tourism, etc. under the theme: “Attracting Targeted Investors through Outreach”

With the crises behind us, Liberia has begun reengaging these potential international investors, especially in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe. In November 2016 an Investment forum was organized by the Government of Liberia through the National Investment Commission (NIC) in partnership with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office through the British Embassy for British and other foreign businesses to visit Liberia and explore its enormous investment opportunities in a wide range of priority sectors. Since the forum, there has been a spike in the interest of not just British firms, but also other foreign firms in Liberia. The British Embassy and the Government of Liberia, represented by the National Investment Commission (NIC), will hold an Investment Outreach in London, United Kingdom on September 13, 2017 as a follow up of the November 2016 event.

Rationale/ Objective

The parties feel that the previous forum generated sufficient interest in the country and investors needed to be assured that Liberia was again opened for business. It is also the view of the parties that this newly anticipated Outreach considers the following objective(s):

  • Reassure the business community in light of the pending political transition
  • Follow up with interested international investors wanting to invest in priority sectors in Liberia
  • Create a platform for Liberia to lay out its economic agenda and highlight opportunities for Investors
  • Initiate vigorous, constructive dialogue between would-be investors and the Government
  • Promote Liberia’s investment competitiveness on the international stage and ensure the outreach helps to reinforce international interest that existed in Liberia prior to the Ebola outbreak and create new investment frontiers particularly looking at priority investment areas.
  • Conduct targeted outreach with potential international investors in the UK and increase Liberia’s investors pipeline of international investors

Process

The parties will plan and implement this outreach program. A non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will be developed to help clearly spell out the roles and responsibilities of both parties, and to formalize their relationship. A checklist of activities for the event will be agreed upon, and responsibilities shared as determined by the parties. A budget will be formulated and financed as indicated in the MOU. A small

team comprising the British Embassy and National Investment Commission (NIC) will constitute the team that will drive the initiative.

It has been observed that outreach through meetings with individuals, associations, sector actors, etc serve as effective means of investment promotion. This process ensures engagement with targeted investors with specifically tailored messages. The Liberian team will pitch opportunities in priority areas to British and other investors as well as meet with British parliamentarians. The Liberian business community will also be encouraged to form part of the team to visit the United Kingdom.

Conclusion

Foreign direct investment is critical to meeting Liberia’s huge development needs. FDI can bring many benefits to a country. FDI can provide a variety of economic and other benefits to the host location. The benefits include the following: employment, revenue gains, favorable impact on local investment, technology transfer, improved labor skills, increased exports, improved international competitiveness of local firms, and increased domestic competition.

A lesson learned from the economic downturn is that for economic growth to be sustainable, Liberia must diversify its economy. Over reliance on a few commodities, iron ore and rubber, cannot make this cut. Liberia must begin to consider value addition in the traditional sectors of agriculture and mining for growth to be sustainable. Also, investment must be sought in other less developed sectors such as tourism. This partnership between the British Embassy and the Government of Liberia provides a platform to move towards economic diversification, resilience and inclusive growth.


Document to download
Concept Note-UK Liberia Investment Outreach-3.pdf - 530kb
 
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