The president of the Liberia Chamber of Commerce (LCC), Francis A. Dennis, has told the Belgium business delegation visiting the country that following the eradication of the deadly Ebola virus, Liberia is now confronted with a major global economic turbulence and uncertainty that is sharply undermining the country’s recovery process.
Mr. Dennis, who spoke Wednesday, January 20, at a resort in Monrovia, said the delegation’s mission comes as no surprise, because the government and people of Belgium have always demonstrated high value and concern for others, including Liberia particularly, in its time of need.
Dennis was a former president of the Liberia bank for Development and Investment (LBDI).
He noted that during his tenure as president of LBDI, he was taken by surprise when Citibank, that he had had a relationship with for several decades, served LBDI 30 days notice to terminate its account.
Reason behind the notice to terminate its account, according to him was a strategic decision taken by the bank, where it had no presence and following that abrupt notice, “we scrambled to find a bank to serve our needs. It was Fortis Bank of Belgium that came to our rescue, which LBDI has enjoyed that relationship.”
Still on Belgium support, Mr. Dennis told the delegation that in 2014 when nearly all airlines terminated their services to Liberia, it was Brussels Airlines that stood by Liberia and maintained its operations.
And today, “we are witnessing the goodwill of the people of Belgium as they have come all this way, in the midst of global economic commotion, to seek opportunities for sustainable investment and job creation that will contribute meaningfully to the economic growth of Liberia.”
He then thanked Brussels Airlines’ management for arranging the link with the private sector.
He added that as president of the LCC, he will take advantage of the partnership to strengthen Liberia’s position in existing markets and develop its dormant potential.
Dennis further told the delegation that, to achieve those objectives and maximize the investment portfolio in Liberia will depend on agriculture, agro-industry, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery sectors.
Dee-Maxwell Kemayah, Sr., president of the Liberian Business Association (LIBA), lauded the Belgium delegation for the visit and said they are open for collaboration.
Mr. Kemayah told the delegation that the Liberian business sector is very large and has a lot of opportunities, but “what we need is support and the technical know-how.”
In conclusion, he urged the delegation to invest in the country, because Liberia has a lot of resources that they can venture into.
Meanwhile, the delegation’s mission is to strengthen bilateral relations with the three West African countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to exchange knowledge and promote trade.