Cross Section of business community

Commerce Ministry Hosts Private Sector Engagement on Business Inspection Reform

By: 
David A. Yates

A one day working session to update the private sector on Business Inspection Reform was held by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Monrovia on Tuesday, May 13, to provide the business community a platform from which the ministry could glean feedback on the new inspection regime.

Acting Commerce Minister Cyril A. Allen, II, who spoke at the opening, said the ministry is doing rebranding process at the Ministry to ensure that the business community and the ministry get feedback.

Mr. Allen described the reform processes of the Inspectorate Division as  a way of helping the ministry carry on it fuctions.

Also speaking, Assistant Minster for Industry Mohammed M. Turay made a brief presentation on the formulation of the General Inspection Procedures.

 He said the Ministry received positive feedback from the private sector regarding inspections and was encouraged to continue the process of harmonizing the National Inspections Regime.

For their part, the business community requested that the Ministry continue with such private sector engagements and revitalize the Liberia “Better Businesses Forum” which will be a vital channel for public/private dialogue.

In another development, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, at the head of a high profile Liberian delegation to the United States, has concluded a second working party meeting on a positive note with members expressing support for Liberia's ambitious goal of acceding to the World Trade Organization (WTO) at the 10th Ministerial Conference (MC10).  Scheduled for December, 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya it will be the first time a Ministerial Conference is held in Africa.

The delegation conducted several meetings at the bilateral level with several members of the WTO and other partners including the ITC and UNCTAD. They also participated in a media event with the international press.

Liberia since 2007 has embarked on a journey to join the multilateral trading system. With support from the US, EU, and several development partners including UNCTAD, ITC, the World Bank and the Enhance Integrated Framework, a cross section of government ministries and agencies have been working on the accession process to achieve this important milestone of the
second working party meeting, bringing Liberia closer to its goal of joining by December in Nairobi at MC10. However much work is ahead and the technical teams are working on meeting the key deliverables to stay on target.

The next step is to have a third working party meeting where outstanding issues are addressed and concluded in order to consolidate the accession package for presentation to members. This milestone in the process is due by July 2015.

All WTO members have access to equal trade benefits and lower trade barriers with each other, allowing them a larger market for their goods, leading to greater sales, more jobs and faster economic growth.

Among many other benefits, WTO membership also allows develping countries such as Liberia access to developed markets at the lower tariff rate and allows them time to remove reciprocal tariffs in its own market.

Members of the delegation include Dr. Florence Chenoweth, Minister of Agriculture; Augustine Jarrett, Economic Advisor, Office of President; Angelique Weeks, Chair, Liberia Telecommunication Authority;  Decontee King-Sackee, Deputy Commissioner, Liberia Revenue Authority; Seklau Wiles, Deputy Minister of Agriculture; Roosevelt Gould, Chief Legal Counsel, Ministry of Commerce and Industry;  Roland Morris, IP Advisor; Paul Tate, Charge d'Affairs, Mission of Liberia to UN Agencies, Stephen Marvie, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Commerce; William Buku, Assistant commissioner, Liberia Revenue Authority; and Alexander Nuetah, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.

Liberian Observer

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