— As retired Indian diplomat pleads with compatriots to double investments in Liberia
Business tycoon and humanitarian Upjit Singh Sachdeva has appealed to his fellow Indians compatriots living in Liberia to invest heavily in Liberian-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to boost growth in the economy, and better the lives of Liberians.
“Our stay and relationship in Liberia should primarily be a partnership for growth, and innovation, and one that helps locally owned small and medium entrepreneurs grow economically,” said Mr. Sachdeva in remarks at a program held in his honor at Farmington Hotel, in Margibi County by Indians living in Liberia. “SMEs are the bedrock of a country’s economic prosperity and investing in them, it boosts investors’ confidence and promotes win-win and mutually beneficial cooperation.”
In his plea, businessman Sachdeva, popular known as Jeety, told his compatriots that Liberia is a country with lots of investment opportunities, so it is time that they forge strong and lasting economic bonds that will bring jobs and better the standard of living for Liberians and development.
According to Sachdeva, the continued participation of Indians in the private sector is critical for the developmental success of Liberia, and “the time is now to make full use of available opportunities to forge comprehensive long-term ties.”
“Also, remember that the relationship should not just be profits, but also based on a deep understanding and respect for the host country’s culture and civilizations. And as beneficiaries of Liberia’s hospitality, we are uniquely placed to help Liberia in that journey, and make it better economically,” added Mr. Sachdeva, who is popularly known as Jeety.
He further told his compatriots that Liberia needs them now, more than ever before, and it is time to extend help to Liberians whenever they come knocking on their doors for support.
“This way, we are helping to build a stronger Liberia and a stronger society that incorporates everyone. This is a plea I am making and I hope you will join me to make the difference economically for Liberia—a country that has been so good and open to us. However, know that your investment should be within the scope of the law. Respect the law of this nation and abide by it,” said Mr. Sachdeva.
He added, “although Indians in Liberia are small in numbers, you people have shown commendable presence in almost all spheres of activity in this country. We have a significant number of entrepreneurs, investors, successful traders, and qualified professionals, contributing to the development of virtually every sector of the Liberian economy.”
Meanwhile, the business tycoon been hailed by Indians living in Liberia for promoting the interest of India and Indians in Liberia in diverse religious and non-religious forms during his time as Honorary Consul General and former President of the Indian Community in Liberia.
According to Greg Candoza, an Indian national who worked at Orange Liberia as its Chief Technical Officer, the former Honorary Consul is a down-to-earth person who is caring and treat everyone as family.
“This is a mixed feeling moment. You are not leaving us, but just leaving one position which enabled you to serve Indian and Liberian community. Good news is that, now you have freedom to do what you have believed in,” Candoza said.
Candoza added: “once I was returning from India, in Ghana airport, I met one Indian gentleman. While talking, he started sharing his experience about you. When he was seriously sick and hospitalized, he needed blood in the middle of the night and they contacted you and you rushed to the hospital and donated the blood… It’s not only blood, it was life for him. Position is temporary but personality is permanent. Your impression will remain forever in our hearts. God bless you always.
In response to recognition, Sachdeva told his countrymen that “the coming of an Indian Embassy to Liberia is one of my proudest achievements and it speaks volumes of the groundwork done to strengthen maintaining and enhance the bilateral relationship between India and Liberia.”
According to him, with the help of past and current ambassadors accredited to Liberia, he worked tirelessly to ensure the strengthening of India-Liberia bilateral ties.
“Well, let me tell you something. I am Indeed, truly obliged for this great recognition given by you people,” the Indian businessman and humanitarian said. “I am grateful to everyone who has always been a part of my journey, from my family to friends, from boss to my team, and everyone. It is a pleasure to witness this beautiful moment in the presence of you all.
“I am so proud that after over two decades serving as our motherland’s Honorary Consul General, an Embassy is finally coming to Liberia. This is evident in the outcomes of the long and laudable bilateral cooperation in the fields of education, health, security, agriculture, infrastructure, commerce, and development cooperation,” Sachdeva said. As a resident for Liberia for several decades, Mr. Sachdeva has been involved in serious humanitarians works, including regularly feeding old folks, vulnerable youths commonly known as ‘zogos’, convicts and prisoners at the Monrovia Central Prison, among others, as well as leading to the Indian community to come to the aid of the government of Liberia.