’New Investment Code Prohibits Discrimination’

The News, Monrovia

’New Investment Code Prohibits Discrimination’

24 March 2008

By Benjamin B. Sworh, Monrovia

An official of the National Investment Commission has disclosed that the new Investment Code prohibits discrimination against any investor in Liberia.

The Executive Director of the National Investment Commission, Mr. Pete Norman made the disclosure when he spoke at a two-day workshop organized by the Ministry of Commerce in collaboration with the United States Trade Representative Office in Washington DC, USAID and the West Africa Trade Hub.

He said the New Investment Code removes elements of discretion and subjectivity in granting incentives to investors.

Mr. Norman noted the code puts Liberia in line with international best practice.

He emphasized that since the acceptance of Liberia to the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA), it has undertaken measures aimed at improving the business climate and make the country a preferred destination for direct foreign investment.

"A foreign owned enterprise registered in Liberia without discrimination and limitation and is allowed to invest in all sectors of the economy. They are also subject to obtain license requirements and other regulations that indigenious Liberian businesses are subject to," he said.

According to him, all investors shall have the right to unrestricted use of their investment and any income lawfully received there from.

The NIC Executive Director recalled indicated that Liberian and international partners concluded that the existing investment code has been totally abused by its administrators and sponsors of investment projects in the past.

"These abuses were due to the fact that courts in Liberia had absolute jurisdiction over resolution of business disputes," Norman pointed out.

He assured that government was exerting efforts to address weaknesses confronting businesses to ensure an enabling environment for direct foreign investment as well as domestic capital formation that would contribute to poverty reduction.

Speaking earlier, Deputy Minister of Commerce, Dr. Frederick Norkeh lauded the US delegation for collaborating with Liberia to host the workshop.

He assured government’s willingness to encourage investors into Liberia to help create job opportunities for Liberians.

Mr. Tim Herleh, a member of the West Africa Trade Hub urged Liberians to take advantage of the opportunity being provided by his entity.

source: