CSOs Working Group Lauds Pres. Weah, Min. Tweah Over Decision to Protect Liberian Owned Businesses
Monrovia – The Civil Society Organizations Working Group in Liberia has lauded Liberian Leader Dr. George Manneh Weah for creating the enabling environment that encourages local and foreign businesses to thrive, thereby providing the opportunity for employment and competition.
In a statement issued today in Monrovia, the CSOs Working Group, comprising about fifty duly registered CSOs in Liberia, said the move by the Weah-led government to keep in place the surcharge regime with protects local and foreign domestic production.
The CSOs Working Group in Liberia observed that the previous tariffs regime, including the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET), posed a serious hike in the cost of basic commodities, thus adversely affecting the poor masses. As such, the group is of the opinion that the move by President George Manneh Weah toad just said tariffs is a demonstration of fiscal brilliance and further supports the Liberia National Trade Policy’s goal of promoting inclusive growth through trade competitiveness. According to the group, domestic trade contributes significantly to national development; therefore, strengthening the Liberian domestic market to function efficiently is essential for the welfare of the population, as it provides employment and income for Liberians.
Meanwhile, the CSOs Working Group has at the same time commended Liberia’s Finance Minister, Samuel D. Tweah, for the imposition of a surcharge on the importation of commodities that are already locally produced. This worthwhile decision, the group says is a demonstration of Minister Tweah’s competence as well as commitment to ably managing the country’s fiscal space, amidst the inherited challenges associated with the economy.
The group intimated that Minister Tweah and the team proceeded properly in advising on the introduction of surcharges because it protects local producers. This, the CSOs believe will establish the basis for increased output through the creation of a critical mass of productivity in the Liberian business sector.
The statement further characterized the government’s effort as a demonstrated support to Liberian producers and traders targeting the domestic market. The group however, encouraged the government to embark on the overall improvement of the business environment by taking key measures to improve the domestic trade infrastructures, assistance to indigenous producers and traders, the protection and strengthening of domestic production rights, and the facilitation of access to finance and land in the long term.