Freetown, Sierra Leone, Thursday 19 July 2018 – Representatives of the business community in Sierra Leone Thursday met President Julius Maada Bio under the aegis of the Minister of Trade, Peter Bayuku Conteh, to address concerns and challenges associated with trade and investment.
The minister said that the essence of the engagement was to look for ways to add more value to trade and investment in the country and attract investors far and wide. He assured the president of their commitment to transforming the ways business was being done.
Speaking on behalf of the Business Community, head of the Fullah businessmen, Alhaji Bobor Bah, said that their businesses were challenged by the huge taxes being levied by the French port and cargo management company, Bollore, and other shipping agencies. He also stated that the instability in the exchange rate of the Leones to the dollar, among other things, was also biting.
He, however, assured President Bio that the business community was ready to work with the New Direction government, adding that the minister of trade and industry was always in constant communication with them.
“This is the very first time in the history of our time that a minister of trade has made it his business to always stay in touch with us. He has always asked after our concerns and is willing to assist us at any time,” Mr Bah said.
President Bio said that tradecould be a key factor ineconomic development, adding that the prudent use of trade relations could boost a country’sdevelopment and create absolute gains for the trading partners involved. He said trade had been touted as an important tool on the path to developing a nation.
He assured the business community of his commitment to fulfilling the promises he made during the 2018 campaign period, which included that he would restore hope and confidence in doing business in the country.
“I want the business community to flourish because the more your businesses grow, the more revenue the country gets. I am certain that very soon the dollar rate, that is so challenging, will return to normalcy,” the President asserted.
He told the businessmen that his government was planning to construct a factory in every district in the country so that business would reach every Sierra Leonean in large quantity.
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