Commerce Ministry Announces 2016 MSME Conference

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The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) has announced its 4th flagship annual conference of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

The conference, which is expected to be held in Monrovia shortly, will address four core challenges of Access to Finance, Access to Market, Legal and Regulatory Reform and Capacity Building in the country.

According to Acting Commerce Minister Frantz Sawyer, who spoke recently at the Ministry of Information regular press briefing, this year’s conference will focus on women empowerment and entrepreneurship, promoting Government’s inclusive growth agenda as well as helping those who own businesses to build new partnerships that would transform them.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf expected to officially launch the MSME conference.

Minister Sawyer said that conference is also expected to bring together members of the cabinet, members of the Legislature, local and international business executives, development partners and members of the diplomatic corps, among others.

He said the MSME conference is expected to be one of the largest since its inception in 2013 and will be held under the general theme: From Vision to Implementation- Buying Liberian, Building Liberia” with focus on “Promoting Women Entrepreneurship for Economic Empowerment.”

The Conference, he said, will seek to highlight the high stakes associated with empowering female entrepreneurs; identify some of the many barriers women continue to face in business and at work; as well as discuss and address some of the many possibilities for growth and improvement in the sector.

The acting Minister urged MSMEs to seize the many opportunities at the conference to not only showcase their products, but also the exposure to experts in the field, multinational corporations, and members of the financial sector; and to learn from other business people who have confronted, tackled and overcome the same hurdles they will face.

“As Liberia moves forward on its path towards sustained economic growth, MSMEs will become the backbone of our transformation; the ones who will add value to our raw materials; the ones who will run our service sector; the ones who will provide jobs for our nation’s youth,” he said. In the Liberia of tomorrow, Minister Sawyer continued, MSMEs will partner with existing large-scale industries to develop well-functioning supply-chains.

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