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Saturday, July 20, 2024

LIBERIA: NEW COMMERCE MINISTER AMIN MODAD OUTLINES TEN CRITICAL INITIATIVES

Date:

MONROVIA – The Minister of Commerce and Industry (MoCI), Amin Modad has outlined ten critical priorities he intends to tackle within the first 90 days of his work.

Appearing for confirmation Friday, February 2, 2024 at the Capitol, he named the ten critical initiatives as; 1.assessing the institutional framework of the Ministry  and aggressively developing its capacity to fulfill its constitutional mandate of creating an enabling environment for sustainable economic growth; 2.promoting the establishment and implementation of the legal and regulatory framework essential to ensure the functioning of a free market economy; 3. restructuring and capacitating the Business Registry to be more effective and responsive. By this Mr. Modad said the Ministry will develop a high tech multi-functional business registration process along with other services so as to ease the cost and process of doing business; 4. reestablishing One Shop-Stop Business Centers across the country in collaboration with other agencies, (Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), National Port Authority (NPA), and Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA). He said doing so will   ensure efficiency, reduce the cost & time of doing business, and ensuring predictability at the ports and border points.

Other key areas include 5. expanding the quality and standard structure such as the National Standards Authority, supported by the Standard Lab to regulate and ensure quality and safety of products imported as well as ensure that Liberian products meet the required standards to take advantage of export opportunities;6. establishing the National Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) System.

The SPS is aimed at ensuring the health and safety of plants and livestock for consumption), and empowering Inspectorate of the Ministry of Commerce to ensure that businesses are selling goods that are safe and healthy for the people; 7. expanding and enhancing the Intellectual Property system to ensure that Liberian artists, artisans, and culture are protected and profitable;

  1. establishing a Domestic Economic Empowerment Program (DEEP), centered on developing the productive capacities of Liberian private sector to lead the economic development agenda;
  2. building a responsive and mutually profitable relationship with the Private Sector, including re-establishing the platform for improved Public-Private Collaboration which will include the establishment of a Business Roundtable Forum that brings together key business leaders from every sector, as well as the Chamber of Commerce and Liberia Business Association to be able to work with the government on creating the environment for them to succeed.

10.Also outlined in Mr. Modad’s ten key initiatives is the facilitation of a resilient and competitive domestic private sector that will attract new investments, develop linkages to global value chains, and prioritize Liberian entrepreneurship; leading banking and financing sector reforms to provide reasonable financial services and sector-specific financing options for Agriculture, Value Addition, Tourism, and Technology.

The Liberian politician and experienced entrepreneur observed that local entrepreneurs would be protected against unwarranted competition.

Meanwhile the Commerce and Industry Minister has assured the public of recusing himself from participating in all the three businesses he owns, adding that he has already informed his wife to resume full management role over the businesses.

Mr. Modad who once served the governing Unity Party as National Chairman observed that his decision is intended to avoid any conflict of interest.

As part of his commitment to ensuring a level playing field in the country’s business environment, he vowed to ensure that no contract from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, whether directly or indirectly is awarded any of his businesses, including Bella Cassa, a hospitality business which also belongs to him.

He pointed out that one of the five pillars of the current government’s reform agenda is to ensure that Liberian-owned businesses are well-positioned to be competitive and active participants in the local economy.

The confirmation hearing of the Commerce and Industry Minister  was graced by family members, relatives, friends, youth and women groups from the governing Unity Party, employees of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, etc.

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