MONROVIA – Representative Samuel Korgar (PUP-Dist#5 Nimba County) has alarmed over what he calls unfair business practices by foreign businesses, specifically Chinese businesses against struggling Liberian businesses. He has called for a law that will institute the necessary checkpoints.
Rep. Korgar who chairs the House of Representatives Committee on Commerce and Industry in an interview at his Capitol Building offices said that the “Chinese are killing Liberian businesses”.
He explained that the consignments of Liberians who travel to China are often delayed and while they await their goods, the Chinese ship the same products to their counterparts here in Liberia before shipping the Liberians’ consignment.
“Retailing should be the sole prerogative of Liberians and as committee chairman, we will reach out and intervene to reduce the suffering of our people. This issue has no political favor and that the Committee on Commerce will ensure a full implementation of the Liberalization law.”
He also promised that his committee will also ensure that goods produced in Liberia are of quality compared to those from neighboring countries.
He is also calling on Liberian businesses to provide the needed information to help the committee properly function to bring relief to struggling Liberian businesses. He named fronting for foreign businesses by Liberians as a major challenge and called on citizens who are engaged in such to stop.
Fronting, among other vices will continue to give aliens and foreigners edge over Liberians in country’s business sector, he said.
In 2019, former Commerce Minister Wilson Tarpeh called for the drafting of a law against fronting.
A law to strengthened 26 businesses was proposed in 2018 dubbed, the Liberian “Business and Economic Empowerment Act of 2018” introduced by Deputy House Speaker Cllr. Fonati Koffa of Grand Kru County who was then chairman on Judiciary Committee.
The intent of the law was to create a more restrictive environment and a stronger enforcement mechanism so that Liberalization, as envisaged by the government and people of Liberia, becomes full-fledged reality.
It is styled “Liberian Business and Economic Empowerment Act of 2018” and was submitted and sponsored by Grand Kru County District # 2 Representative Cllr. Jonathan Fonati Koffa, the Deputy Speaker.
The 26 Liberian businesses which have been identified since the 1973 Investment Act include Supply of sand; block making; itinerant merchant (peddling); real estate agencies and real estate management services; travel agencies or travel agency contract for airlines; distribution and retail sale of flour, cement, and rice; retail of stationery and office supplies; ice making and sale of ice; tire repair shop; independent auto repair shop; shoe repair shop; retail of timber and planks and operation of gas stations.