Monrovia – Participants at the trade facilitation training have expressed optimistic that Liberia within a not to distance future can meet the international standards when it comes to port management, broker, trucking and transporting of goods from one place to another.
“Our vision is to improve our logistics to meet international level. We have to be focussed on work because, since the end of the war, we have a huge gap in logistic and that is why our partners STC-NESTRA and Evo-Fenedex come to help us,” Richard B. Glaydor of the Consortium of Liberia Professionals said.
The four days training was held at the Bella Casa Hotel in Sinkor, Monrovia.
NESTRA, one of the Dutch firms that conducted the training is the acronym for “Netherlands Expert Group for Sustainable Transport and Logistics” and is a member of the STC-Group.
The Dutch firm provides high-level consultancy and applied research services in the field of sustainable transport and logistics.
Its aims at servicing public and private organizations on a national and international level such as Ministries of Transport, European Commission, Asian Development Bank, and World Bank.
Also, another Dutch firm that conducted the training, Evo-Fenedex accounts for 70 percent of all goods shipped within, to and from the Netherlands. The firm was founded more than 75 years ago and membership is open to companies of all sectors.
Evo-Fenedex aims to improve international trade and to smoothen logistics for the member companies..,
With support from the Dutch Government through STC-NESTRA and Evo-Fenedex in co-partnership with Liberia Netherlands Business and Culture Council (LNBCC) and Liberia Maritime Group (LMG), over 50 Liberians both in the public and private sectors have received training in trade facilitation.
Glaydor, like many participants, says the training is going to strengthen the logistic gap of Liberia. This, he says will help Liberians improve their skills when it comes to handling materials from the port to the final destination.
“The knowledge we are acquiring right now will make us serve the public much better. We are now going to train additional people to improve our system,” Glaydor representing the Consortium of Liberia Professionals said.
Another participant Daniel Sargbe is an employee of the Liberia Maritime Authority. He says most of the techniques and approaches that are used in Liberia are not up to date.
With the training, Sargbe says he is of the conviction that enough revenues can come to Liberia to enhance development.
“This is a very important study; it will help us develop our facilities. We have some dilapidated facilities which are creating trade barriers. We have to improve our infrastructure. I believe that there are lots of opportunities and prospects for Liberia,” Sargbe said.
Poor infrastructure to border points and bad roads according to Sargbe are serving as an impediment to the revenue generation of the country.
He added: “From the view of the Liberia Maritime Authority, you can see that we have not been involved with marine transport. I think that we can utilize that to ensure that we have lots of revenue generation.”
“So, for any reason, we can use the waterway for the mean of transportation; where goods can land freely, and the volume of trade will increase,” Sargbe said.
Speaking at the start of the training, LNBCC Business Consultant Stanley Slagmolen told the audience that it was time to explore and discuss what he terms as the endless opportunities that Liberia has to grow its economy.
“Of course we know that we have an abundance of minerals and a huge opportunity to capitalize on our rich soil that can grow anything to provide a good living standard for the Liberian people. But this cannot be done without a good trade environment,” Slagmolen said.
According to LNBCC Business Consultant, although Liberia is seated perfectly to play a major role in the West African region when it comes to trade, a successful growth depends on the framework that will be put in place to facilitate cross border trade.
“Efficient operation of logistics in ports, taxes, banking, transportation, warehousing are essential to provide a favorable environment for enterprises to do their work,” Slagmolen said.