The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Madam Miatta Beysolow, has asserted that the country faces enormous challenges in its quest for industrialization and economic transformation. According to Min. Beysolow, Liberia like any other African country’s priorities for industrialization and poverty reduction, include enhancing productivity growth, expanding productive capacity and generating employment for social development.
The Commerce Ministry boss made these comments Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at program marking the observance of Africa Industrialization and World Standards Day. Program marking the observance of Africa Industrialization and World Standards Day was held at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) in Monrovia.
Speaking further, she noted that Liberia has the potential for economic activity in a variety of non-traditional products, including downstream processed products and other manufactures and services such as agro-processing and furniture. She said the country also has other downstream wood products, and downstream rubber products.
“Investment in such labor intensive activities can create significant number of jobs, encourage Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) growth, stimulate exports, and provide the basis for sustained growth in productivity, skills levels, wages, and income over time. They can create important new economic opportunities for women, young adult workers, persons with disabilities, and unskilled and semi-skilled workers,” said Min. Beysolow.
However, she said development of these industries remain in their infancy due to the condition of infrastructure, a largely unskilled labor force and difficulties in firms moving from informal to formal status. Madam Beysolow said making the transition and ensuring a significant improvement in Liberia’s international competitiveness will take time.
But the Commerce Ministry boss pointed out that success can be achieved through actions of cooperation and mobilization of strong commitment from stakeholders in Liberia’s development. “No action has industrialized without affordable and reliable electricity, to a large extend, a good road network and adequate port facilities. As you know, these are President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s top priorities. Not only are these priorities spelled out in our development agenda, but are reflected in the Government budget,” she amongst other things, added.