By J. Burgess Carter
A bill seeking the establishment of a special economic zone in Liberia, to be known as “The Special Economic Zone Act 2017,” has been submitted to the Liberian Senate by Grand Bassa County Senator Jonathan Kaipay.
In his letter dated May 29, 2017, Senator Kaipay said the purpose, intent and objective of the Act, is to establish the legal framework and mechanism for the integration, coordination, planning and monitoring of special economic zones, industrial estates/parks, export processing zones and other economic zones.
In the 24-page bill accompanying his letter, the Grand Bassa lawmaker said if passed the Act will transform selected areas in the country into highly developed agro-industrial, commercial, tourist, banking, investment, and financial centers, where trained workers and efficient services will be available to commercial enterprises.
The Economic Zone Act, according to Senator Kaipay, will “promote the flow of investors, both foreign and local, into special economic zones which would generate employment opportunities and establish backward and forward linkages among industries in and around the economic zones; and will stimulate the repatriation of Liberian capital by providing an attractive climate and incentives for business activities.”
The creation of the zones, according to Kaipay, will further promote financial and industrial cooperation between Liberia and industrialized countries through technology-intensive industries that will modernize the country’s industrial sector and improve productivity levels by utilizing new technological and managerial know-how.
“Mr. Pro-Tempore, honorable ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, the proposed bill, in my expert opinion, is the drive which would lead to Liberia’s local economic development Marshall Plan, which is to evolve our agricultural and industrial revolution, our private sector development, private/public partnership and the innovation of establishing the small and medium enterprise development throughout the country.”
The letter was sent to the Senate Committee on Judiciary.