The Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SLIEPA) in collaboration with the Common Wealth Secretariat and Crown Agents have engaged commercial banks in the country on international trade policies at the British Council Auditorium in Freetown.
The Director of Finance at the Bank of Sierra Leone Aki Lamin expressed the need for the banking system to transact trade according to international procedures for repatriation of export proceeds to promote economic trade and improve balance of payments.
He said “international trade procedures will provide stability in the foreign exchange market for credible data in the compilation of statistics,” additionally stating that export proceeds are not done through the banking system.
Aki Lamin noted minerals and agricultural produce exported do not have proper mechanism put in place to show evidences that export proceeds are repatriated, though the Bank of Sierra Leone has put in place reporting mechanisms for all commercial banks transactions.
He said for Sierra Leone to benefit from export business it requires exporters to comply with not only banking procedures but with relevant stakeholders.
The Chief Executive Officer of SLIEPA Patrick Caulker explained about their aims and objectives in promoting trade and investment through international trade procedures to boost economic growth and sustainable development.
He said SLIEPA has a road map plan that create partnership with both local and international businesses in the implementation of export procedures to improve trade and direct investment in to the country which he believes will create employment and rapid economic development.
He also said that SLIEPA has developed a national strategic plan that focuses on export promotion and investment. He encouraged commercial banks to work according to the rules and regulations and international trade procedures.
Jon Walden of the Common Wealth Secretariat at Crown Agents who was the lead facilitator conducted several sessions on international trade procedures and the role of commercial banks in ensuring exporters repatriate their proceeds back to the country.
By Saidu Bah