LCC Urges Businesses to Stay Open Amid PATEL Protest

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The Executive Council and Members of the Liberia Chamber of Commerce (LCC) says their attention has been drawn to the recent public announcement by the Patriotic Entrepreneurs of Liberia (PATEL) Inc., calling on the business community to shut down operations beginning today, Monday April 10th if certain demands are not addressed by government.

In a statement issued last Thursday, April 6, the LCC said it believes that “our recent history has shown that disagreements between Government’s Agencies and the Business Community are not resolved by resort to strike, and other similar activities intended to force the government to take action desired by the business sector.”

The LCC streessed: “In fact the results and conditions turn out to be far more severe and damaging. Our economy and peaceful environment for the conduct of business is fragile, as a result of global economic downturns and inadequate domestic infrastructure and capacity.”

The LCC acknowledged that some of the concerns raised by PATEL needs attention. “We urge them to take advantage of the mechanisms and systems available for peaceful advocacy and dialogue with the Government, such that in the process we do not lose what we have, no matter how small.”

Therefore, in the spirit of peace and reconciliation, especially in this period heading to the scheduled national elections, the Executive Council and Members of the Liberia Chamber of Commerce (LCC) appealed to all of its members and other business persons, and associations to refrain from engaging in any demonstration, strike, closure of business, or acts of violence at any time during the coming days, weeks, and months.

“This urgent appeal is being made to the public following an urgent meeting between the Ministry of Justice, and representatives of the Liberia Chamber of Commerce (LCC), and other Liberian business organizations,” the LCC said, “Please obey the law whilst conciliatory discussions continue with the Government. And the Business Community is urged to continue their normal activities to sustain the gradual recovery process and on-going efforts to create a more stable, predictable and globally competitive business environment.”

The release was signed for the LCC by its president Francis A. Dennis, Jr, 1st vice president Assad Barbar and 2nd vice president Johnny Babani.

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