…Minister Kamara Tells Investors
Foreign Minister, Madam Marjon Kamara says Liberia has reached a point in its development drive where it would like to add value to its resources, create jobs for Liberians and increase trade with the outside world.
“We are very pleased by the decision that was taken to visit Liberia to hold exploratory discussions and look at possibilities to strengthen collaboration in the forestry sector. We have natural resources, many of them we have been exporting as raw materials. We would like to add value by doing some processing of these materials in our country to create jobs for our people and increase trade with the outside world and forestry is one area,” she emphasized.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, Minister Kamara made the statement Thursday when a high-level delegation from the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) State Forestry Administration and five Chinese enterprises paid a courtesy call on her.
They were accompanied by Liberia’s Ambassador to the PRC, Mr. Dudley McKinley Thomas.
She indicated that it is government’s hope that the visit will open the door for further strengthening of collaboration with China in the development of the forest sector
“We hope that if you succeed in your discussions, you will exploit these resources in an environmentally friendly manner,” Minister Kamara urged.
She added that all the investments done in the forest sector must be friendly to the environment.
For his part, PRC’s Deputy Director General for State Forestry Administration, Mr. Kong Ming, thanked Minister Kamara for the opportunity.
He said their visit to Liberia is based on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s request to Chinese businessmen to explore investment opportunities in Liberia.
Mr. Ming said this is the first time that the PRC’s State Forestry Administration has led a delegation to Liberia to explore opportunities in the forestry sector.
He noted that they fully understand Minister Kamara’s concerns about adding value through processing, creating jobs as well as establishing long-term mechanisms to develop and utilize the forest in a sustained way.
He assured that China has the potential to establish a long term and sustained cooperation mechanism.
“In recent years, Chinese enterprises have gained experience from investing in other countries in the areas of timber processing as well as re-establishing the timber industry garden,” he said.