According to its organizers, the CBAL aims at promoting exchanges and communications among Chinese companies. They said it aims to give guidance to lawful business activities of Chinese companies in Liberia and safeguard their legitimate rights and interests.
CBAL further stated that it wants to guarantee a healthy development and establishes a good image of Chinese companies in Liberia.
Speaking at the launch, Mr. Xiong Xin Hai, CBAL president, said CBAL, established on March 17, 2011, is a non-profit organization, approved by both the Chinese and Liberian governments. “It was initiated under the guidance of the Chinese Embassy to Liberia by Chinese companies being engaged in lawful business activities in Liberia,” he added.
Mr. Xiong further stated that CBAL is willing to play a bigger role in forging closer ties and strengthening mutual communications and cooperation between the two nations, “bridging the understanding between Chinese companies and Liberian government and the local business community so as to work together to bring about a prosperous economy to Liberia.”
According to Chinese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Zhao Jianhua, China’s trade volume with Liberia in 2011, surpassed 5 billion US dollars. “Liberia has become the fourth trading partner among all African countries with China. And you are the third trading partner in West Africa. The happy news is that Liberia’s export to China in 2011 reached 50 million US dollars and increased by 84 percent. That is a sharp increase,” he added.
Amb. Zhao further said that in order to encourage export from Liberia to China, the Chinese government unilaterally offered free tax customs import for products exported to China from Liberia. According to him, it covers 60 percent of all Liberian products, and it is set to be expanded to 95 percent in three years. “So if you export more to China, you enjoy the treatment of free income tax,” he stated to the delight of Liberian business people, attending the CBAL launch.
He further said that in 2011, three major Chinese enterprises invested over 7 million US dollars to carry out over 20 projects in terms of corporate social responsibility. The Chinese Diplomat maintained that these three Chinese enterprises, China Union, CICO and CHICO, have employed over 1,500 Liberians as their employees.
Also speaking, Commerce and Industry Minister Miata Beysolow told the audience that she was excited with the CBAL’s launch because most of the Chinese companies, which are members of CBAL have looked beyond Liberia’s challenges and have come to partner with the country.
While disclosing that there are over 130 Chinese companies presently doing business in Liberia, she promised to help the CBAL in whatever capacities that are lawful.
For her part, Labor Minister Vabah Gayflor, stated that Liberia is in dire employment needs. “We know that strives have been made to curtail this need, but we still need more collaborations,” she told the CBAL and other business associations’ representatives, who were in attendance.
Min. Gayflor stated that she was interested in seeing more Liberians, not only being employed but also working under a humane environment.
She assure CBAL officials that offices of the Labor Ministry are opened to them, as they are opened to Liberian employers and employees.