In a rare effort to encourage Liberian business entrepreneurs to take over their economy, Lebanese business guru, Ezzat Eid has expressed interest to welcome partnership with sincere and serious Liberians business owners.
Mr. Eid, the president of the World Lebanese Cultural Union in Liberia (WLCU), said he is determined to assist Liberians achieve their potential in business, if they truthfully want to partner with him either through the ‘Land Leasing Agreement’ or “to purchase ‘shares’ in any of my businesses.”
He pointed out that a ‘50-50’ or a ’51-49’ or perhaps a ’60-40’ partnership can be good enough to share with any honest and hardworking Liberian.
Partnership is a single business where two or more people share ownership. Each partner contributes to all aspects of the business, including money, property, labor, management or skills. In return, each partner shares in the profits and losses of the business.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer recently in his imposing Sinkor office, Mr. Eid indicated that he wants to encourage competitiveness in the economic sector with the massive involvement of Liberian business entrepreneurs; and to help erase the wrong perception that foreigners are determined to take over the country’s economy.
Mr. Eid is the proprietor of the Royal Grand Hotel, the nation’s leading hotel, City Builders, a major building materials enterprise, the International Aluminum Factory, National Paint Factory and other businesses. He has been in Liberia since 1966 as a business man.
He further said that it is the hope of the Lebanese community to see Liberians taking over their own economy and see what it takes to invest into business.
Reacting to the ‘Liberianization Business Policy’ of which the selling of ice cream is one of 16 businesses which was exclusively put aside by Liberians, Mr. Eid said the Lebanese Community will always operate under and be a respecter of the law by being ‘under the law,’ and would never advise any of his kinsmen or anybody else to be ‘over the law.’
The proprietor of the Sharks Entertainment Incorporated, Mrs. Eyvonne Bright-Harding, wants the Liberian government to deliver on its promise to restrict at least the 16 businesses to Liberian entrepreneurs and penalize foreign business owners who circumvent that law.
One of those businesses is the production and sale of ice cream products in which she is involved. She has observed that certain foreign businesses are also involved in the making and sale of ice cream, although the law excludes them from it.
Recently, following a complaint filed by Mrs. Bright-Harding, the Ministry of Commerce carried out an investigation and in the end ordered Nice Ice Cream, located on 9th Street at the SP Gas Station on Tubman Boulevard shut down, but it was later reopened by the court.
The Liberianization policy is the creation of the Liberian government that identifies 16 businesses that are exclusively to be run by Liberian citizens.
They include supply of sand, block making, peddling, travel agency, retail sale of rice and cement, ice making and sale of ice, tire repair shops, and auto repair shops with investments of less than US$550, 000.
The rest are shoe repair shops, retail sale of timber and planks, operation of gas stations, video clubs, operation of taxis, importation or sale of secondhand or used clothes, distribution in Liberia of locally manufactured products and importation and sale of used cars (except authorized dealerships which may deal in certified used vehicles of their make.)