President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has requested the House of Representatives to enact into law “the Protocol on the Accession of Liberia to the World Trade Organization (WTO)” to confirm its membership to the multilateral trade body.
In a letter to House Speaker J. Alex Tyler, Sr., dated February 5, but read on February 16, during the 9th day sitting of the 5th Session of the 53rd Legislature, the President said if the protocol is ratified it would help the country’s Agenda for Transformation.
She indicated in her letter that Liberia’s business environment would be accessible and comfortable, thereby creating a conducive business atmosphere.
“Jobs will be created and Liberia will be exposed to fair and competitive foreign business opportunities. Liberia stands to benefit immensely when this protocol is ratified,” she wrote.
The President added: “I therefore request your kind and timely consideration to ratify this protocol that will help the national effort to improve and secure Liberia’s business environment, improve the livelihood of our citizens, and maintain security and growth of our nation.”
She also said Liberia was accepted as the latest on continental Africa and the last member of ECOWAS to join the multilateral trade system at the 10th Ministerial Conference of the WTO held for the first time in sub-Saharan Africa.
According to President Sirleaf, the Accession package contains Liberia’s commitments for domestic reforms that take into consideration the country’s enhancement of its business climate to provide a fair, transparent and predictable business environment that fosters trade in a competitive manner.
Following the reading and floor debate, plenary mandated the Committees on Commerce and Industry, Foreign Affairs, Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning to report within two weeks. The mandate was based on a motion from Hon. Gabriel B. Smith of District # 3 Grand Bassa County.