— As Shangyou’s First US$30M Rubber Wood Company Operations Begin
In a very unprecedented routine, President George M. Weah, while cutting the ribbon for the formal dedication of the Shangyou Wood Industries Development (Liberia), expressed his support for the One-China Policy and wished that there be more factories from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) constructed in Liberia.
The President dodged protocol and didn’t make remark during the allotted period, but instead allowed Foreign Minister Gbehzohngar Findley, to serve as a proxy. By such maneuver, many perceived that the political cheery-picking of the Foreign Minister to speak on behalf of government in the presence of the President, emitted signals of of the minister’s grooming as a potential running mate for Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) in the 2023 Presidential elections.
However, in his very brief remark, before cutting of the ribbon for the formal dedication of the Shangyou Wood Industries Development (Liberia), in Todee, Montserrado County District #1, the President said, he was grateful to have earlier dedicated an Indian Steel Company and now the Chinese Rubber Wood Industry.
“We bless God because, in less than two years, we have achieved this. I hope we will continue with this strive. We thank God for the partnership. We want more factories from China in the country. We cut this ribbon in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,” President Weah said.
Prior, Foreign Minister Findley, praised China for the mutually beneficial China-Liberia collaborations. And he extended warm congratulations to the PRC and the Shangyou Rubber Wood Industry.
Chinese Ambassador Fu Jijun, in his special statement, said President George M. Weah attached importance to the establishment of the Factory of Shangyou Wood Industry and he lent his helping hand when the investor imported its necessary machinery.
“Industry plays an important role in a country’s development and prosperity. It can bring rapid economic growth through using raw materials to make higher valued products for the local and foreign market, creating jobs, using local public service, paying various fees and tax to government and feed back to local communities. I believed that is the reason why President George M. Weah has proposed to set up an industrial park in Liberia. This is also the reason why China has been attaching great importance to promoting industrial production collaboration with Africa.”
The Chinese Ambassador added: “I have the honor to require the managing team of the Factory to conscientiously abide by Liberian laws, follow Liberian custom and practices, treat Liberian employees well and fully cooperate with the related Liberian authorities.”
He continued: “On the other hand, I have the honor to appeal to your excellency Mr. President, dear friends from the related authorities and the local communities of the factory, to continue your valued support to the investor and the managing team of the Factory. Since its success is also Liberia’s success, it will set a good example for encouraging more Chinese business men to invest in your loved country. Otherwise, it will discourage the potential investors form China to Liberia.”
The chairman of the Shangyou Wood Industries Development (Liberia) Limited said this is the first wood industry company under his industries and expressed gratitude to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Commerce and Industry and Labor, the National Investment Commission, the Liberia Revenue Authority, Immigration Service, Environmental Protection Agency as well as the Reps. Lawrence Morris of Montserrado District #1 and Margibi County District #3 Representative Ellen Attoh Wreh.
Amb. D. McKinley Thomas, Liberia’s Ambassador to China, earlier said Liberia is committed to the one-China policy and the country is in need of more Chinese companies.
Mr. Hong disclosed that the company has a total investment of 30 million (US) dollars.
“In the future, if the domestic situation and investment policies continue to improve, Shangyou will build a second and third Factory in Liberia,” he said.
The Chairman of the National Investment Commission (NIC), Molewuleh Gray, said the Chinese Shangyou Rubber Wood Processing Factory is benefiting from the regime’s special investment incentive as a way to spur investment since January 2018.
Montserrado Country District #1 Representative Lawrence Morris, on behalf of the lawmakers from both Montserrado and Margibi counties respectively, said they are hopeful of direct employment of citizens from their districts. He also advised residents of their districts against posing ‘security threat’ to the factory’s assets.
He thanked the President for the investment opportunity, but urged the government to encourage more investors and should not discourage potential investors.
The Shangyou Rubber Wood Processing Industry was established in 2017 but construction works formally began 2018 and subsequently completed and dedicated on Tuesday, July 23, 2019. The factory is expected to employ at 450 Liberians.