The president of the World Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU), Mr. Ezzat Eid, has thrown out the challenge to Liberians to take over their own economy by investing more in business.
Making the call while serving as a chief launcher of the Liberia Business Directory, Mr. Eid called on Liberians to invest more in the business sector as a way of contributing to the economy development of their country.
According to the president of WLCU, 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.
The Liberian business climate is dominated by Lebanese businessmen including Ezzat Eid, and this has raised contention over the years that government allows foreigners to take over Liberian economy instead of empowering Liberians to take over their own economy.
“I always tell my Liberian and Lebanese friends, when you are outside of business, you always criticize the business community. So, I want to encourage more Liberians to go into business and see what it takes to do business,” he said.
Mr. Eid rejected claims by Liberians that Lebanese were taking over their economy.
Reacting to his election as president of the WLCU, Mr. Eid attributed the successes of Lebanese businesses to being honest in loan repayments unlike Liberians, whom he said hardly repay the loans they receive.
Mr. Eid, who is the general manager of the Royal Grand Hotel in Sinkor, said the launch of the LBD is very important and as such, it must be supported by all business people.
The directory also gives historical details on Liberian trade and tourism, and its importance to schools, banks, hospitals as well as government institutions.
The LBD is an important instrument for the development of trade and tourism. It lists government institutions, embassies, NGOs, business houses, hospitals, clinics, schools and churches with their telephone numbers and emails.
Considering these details provided by LBD, Mr. Eid said it is an instrument that will be used to connect businesses, where customers, particularly first time investors, will need business partners.
He told the business community to morally and financially support the project, noting, “We all know the importance of this directory, so supporting it is supporting our own businesses as well.”
At the same time, Mr. Eid assured the LBD family of his full support as well as that of the Lebanese business community.
Also speaking, Wynston O.L. Fallah, vision bearer and publisher of the Liberia Business Directory, said the process of writing the book is for everyone to have access to contacts of the places of business they desire.
Mr. Fallah said the LBD covers the entire country and has added more value to the research to enable business people and tourists locate the right products and services.
“As you know, being a publisher requires hard work and we are now celebrating the second edition of Liberia Business Directory, and we want this opportunity to encourage us to redirect our lives to trade and tourism. It took us two years to fulfill this dream of bringing LBD to the public and we hope it will play a positive role in many lives,” said Fallah.
Mr. Fallah said, “This 2015 and 2016 edition of Liberia Business Directory will contribute to the ongoing discussions on the importance of business and tourism in Liberia.”
He said business people and tourists will learn more about Liberia’s post-war development and how they can maximize their opportunities and reap the benefits of a good business directory.
“We need your support to publish this business directory every year. This business directory will give Liberians the opportunity to employment, pay taxes and add value to Liberia’s trade and tourism industry. This does not happen automatically, we need your help,” he pleaded.
However, Mr. Fallah used the occasion to extend his gratitude to Representative Edwin Snowe, Jr., Mr. G. Roosevelt Pratt, Madam Barkue Tubman, and many subscribers and people who helped to make the publication and launching a success.
For his part, the director general of the Liberian Broadcasting System (LBS), Darryl Ambrose Nmah, thanked the publisher and the board for conceptualizing and putting the dream to a reality.
Mr. Nmah noted that launching of the LBD is a big step in telling the story of Liberia’s economy.
The launching of the LBD was attended by officials of government, including Commerce & Industry Minister Axel Addy and representatives from the American Embassy as well as other well-known Liberian business entrepreneurs.