-Assures Wendell Addy
J. Wendell Addy, president-elect of the Liberia Chamber of Commerce (LCC) has informed members of the business community that under his leadership, the entity is ready to do business with all registered businesses and business associations in the country.
Addy promised that the Chamber will also promote a vibrant business environment for citizens to network, and showcase their local made products in the diaspora.
Mr. Addy spoke last Monday, August 27, at a program where 23 Liberian-owned companies showcased their products at a pitching contest and fundraising event organized by the LCC in collaboration with the Ezzat N. Eid Foundation.
The contest, among other objectives, aimed to vet Liberian entrepreneurs, producers of made-in-Liberia products for the up-coming AGOA festival in New York City, USA later this year.
According to Mr. Addy, the chamber of commerce has experienced numerous challenges and constraints including funding in terms of budgetary support, inadequate staffing, and logistics to advance its policy, advocacy, and advisory role in the business community that will promote the growth of the country’s economy.
Against this backdrop, Addy said that the business community has come to showcase “Made-in-Liberia Products,” because as president of the institution, “we believe that this is a unique initiative that all Liberians will embrace.”
Out of the 23 companies, 12 Liberian businesses, among them, J-Palm, Zoequoi, John St. Paul Rum, Bravo Sisters Enterprise, the Liberia Business Incubator, and the New Marketing Vision were promised sponsorship as Liberia’s representatives at the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and Expo Trade Fair.
AGOA is a law passed in the U.S. to increase trade between the U.S. and participating African countries. The law provides duty-free preferences for thousands of products manufactured and processed throughout the region.
It was initially signed into law in 2000 for 15 years, and later extended in 2015 for 10 additional years.
The festival is a cultural and business platform to celebrate U.S.-Africa cooperation, strengthen bilateral trade relations, and promote the AGOA key export products and investment opportunities.
Goods such as apparel, textiles, footwear, beverages and food, skin and leather products prepared in Africa, cosmetics and essential oils, jewelry, and African music are usually on display at the festival.
The festival is also a unique platform for American companies to expand their businesses or introduce new products, and services in the 40 African countries eligible with direct access to authorities, and business leaders.
A wide variety of activities are organized periodically by AGOA in several cities in the U.S. aimed at boosting African exports and take advantage of the organization’s legislation with new partnerships and joint ventures.