At the official launching ceremony of the international and national trade fair and ECOBIZ organized by the Sierra Leone Chamber of commerce and agriculture at the Miata Conference centre in Freetown President Ernest Koroma threw a big challenge to members of the private sector to take advantage of government’s bold initiative in making Sierra Leone the best place to start a business in the Mano River Union basin.
He said “we have come a long way in promoting development and economic growth by ensuring national stability, energy and agriculture.” He went on “just as women call for side by side in decision making, government also needs the private sector to be side by side with government or the public sector to attain national economic growth” he added.
“We have reduced the cost of doing business, enhanced peace and stability to attract investors and also create institutions with the right policy to improve on doing business in Sierra Leone” the President said.
He observed that “we must now look inward as we are all aware that there are a lot of insurance and banking institutions to support the private sector in boosting national economic growth.”
He warned that we must not wait on donor supports even though they are appreciated giving the negative effect of the rebel war on our economy, adding that people should take trade as a major source of economic growth as there are huge opportunities which investors should take advantage of rather than waiting on donors to come in.
The President in his preamble statement actually reflected on his past achievement in the private sector which he said would be transformed into the public sector to boost national economic growth in the country but however noted that both the private and public sectors constitute partners in development.
This statement could not be unconnected to President’s Koroma inaugural statement a year and half ago when he stated that he would run Sierra Leone like a business entity.
The President ended up calling on the private sector to come onboard with initiatives by taking the risk and making effort in moving Sierra Leone forward.
The chair person of the occasion and also the Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce Gladys Strasser-King recalled the Chamber of Commerce plays a significant role in linking with the business community and the government to promote investment and business in the country in order to stimulate economic growth. She explained that the trade fair was an appropriate event to show case the country’s business and investment potentials, maintaining that the Chamber of Commerce is an engine of economic growth.