President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has stressed that Liberia no longer needs exportation of raw materials to other countries but must be a manufacturing country where finished goods will be sent out.
Expressing the concern while receiving the Letters of Credence on April 30, 2014 from ambassadors, including Mr. Sentürk Uzun of Turkey, President Sirleaf recalled that the civil conflict in Liberia destroyed the infrastructure and fabric of the Liberian society, and as such exportation of raw materials will not do much help but producing goods that will enhance both domestic and foreign trades.
Outlining some plans government has about the country, the President named the Vision 2030, which seeks to make Liberia self-sustainable and become a middle income country and the Agenda for Transformation that is a complementary program to Vision 2030 as key on her government’s development agenda on which foreign partners must act.
“It is our resolve to shift from simply exporting raw materials to being a manufacturing nation,” she informed the new Turkish envoy.
She added that government is quite aware that this ambition comes with huge challenges; reason for which she and her people are calling on all the partners, including Turkey, to direct their investments in the manufacturing and service industries.
The President, acknowledging the level of peace Liberia has enjoyed, indicated that the environment now is better for such engagement, and therefore Turkey and others coming in should see it an opportunity to make the needed impact they can in Liberia’s post-war recovery process.
The Liberian leader stressed, “Having enjoyed more than a decade of peace and stability, we can say with certainty that this is a favorable environment required for such engagement,” adding, “we therefore note with immense appreciation that your Government has emphasized its willingness and preparedness to explore with Liberia all existing opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation and to contribute to the development efforts of the people of Liberia.”
She expressed appreciation to the Government of Turkey for the support given to peacekeeping initiatives in Liberia, especially to the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) in which 25 Turkish police currently serve.
The Liberian leader also acknowledged and thanked the Turkish Government for its technical support to the Monrovia and Paynesville City Corporations, the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation as well as the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. She welcomed with delight, Turkish pledge of continuous support to Liberia’s reconstruction process.
Presenting his Letters of Credence earlier, Ambassador Sentürk Uzun extended warm greetings from his President, Abdullah Gül, and sincere wishes for the prosperity of the people of Liberia and her personal wellbeing.
He said Turkey is keen to share its development experience with Liberia and other countries within his jurisdiction especially humanitarian diplomacy, a key pillar of Turkish foreign policy, adding, that believing that the 21st century will be Africa’s century, Turkey will continue to nurture the strategic partnership with Africa.
Ambassador Uzun, who would be resident in Accra, Ghana, acknowledged that as Turkey highly relishes the friendship with Liberia, his government has instructed him to work for the strengthening of cordial relations as well as promote mutual beneficial cooperation between both countries. “During my tenure here, I will not fail to carry out this instruction to the best of my ability,” the new Turkish Ambassador to Liberia promised.
He stressed that despite the distance that separates the two countries, the Turkish Government is willing to develop, wherever possible, economic, commercial and technical cooperation with Liberia to the mutual benefit of both countries and peoples.
The new Turkish Ambassador disclosed that in recent years Turkey has improved her contacts and existing cooperation with Africa, and his government is willing and ready to explore with Liberia all existing opportunities for the mutual benefits of both countries as well as to contribute to the development efforts of the people of Liberia.
Ambassador Uzun, who is accredited to Sierra Leone and Ghana also, said Turkey is committed to the goal of achieving peaceful relations among nations and pledged his country’s full support to effort aimed at improving international climate and the promotion of global peace and stability within the United Nations framework. “The principles of the Turkish foreign policy are strongly opposed to oppression,” he said.
He said given the similarities of the two countries’ foreign policy objectives, he is confident that the coming years will witness frequent consultations between Turkey and Liberia. “Your Excellency, it will be an honor as well as a rewarding experience for me if I can make some contributions to the development of the relations of our two countries in the course of my accreditation here in Liberia,” he said.