The National Port Authority (NPA) and the Georgia Ports Authority have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) extending the ports’ partnership.
Although, there is no monetary value to the MOU, the original one signed August, 4, 2010, to 2012, is being extended for an additional three years. The new MOU is geared towards expanding trade between the Southeastern United States and Liberia. The Port of Savannah is the highest-volume exporter to Liberia among U.S South Atlantic ports, and the highest in imports from Liberia.
According to a statement from the NPA, the MOU encourages voluntary cooperation in the areas of capacity building, joint marketing activities, and information sharing on trade forecasts, market studies and developments in the shipping market, as well as details of modernization and technological improvements necessary to meet market demands and enhance throughput.
The signing ceremony took place after the US-Liberia Trade and Investment Forum held September 15 and 16 in New York during which the Liberian Government’s Agenda for Transformation (AFT) was presented.
In remarks, NPA Acting Managing Director David Williams expressed the government’s willingness to develop Seaport Industry evidenced by the completion of key projects in the Port of Greenville, the Port of Buchanan and plans by the NPA management to rehabilitate the Port of Harper.
Mr. Williams said the NPA’s current management team places serious emphasis on developing the seaports, particularly in the areas of human resource, infrastructure development, automation, and the pavement of internal roads within the Freeport Port of Monrovia to enhance cargo movement.
For his part, the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) Executive Director, Curtis Foltz stated “It is with great pleasure that we welcome the Liberian delegation today to continue our trading partnership. As African trade continues to strengthen and increase, this agreement continues developing a foundation for even stronger growth.”
As part of the agreement contained in the MOU, trainers from the GPA are expected to visit the NPA in April 2016 to begin training port operations personnel.