The SLPP manifesto believes that improve trade and the private sector will reduce poverty in Sierra Leone.
The government recognizes the centrality of the private sector to its poverty reduction and growth efforts in post-conflict Sierra Leone. The private sector will be promoted and enhanced to be the engine for generating growth, job creation, increasing incomes and consequently reducing poverty.
Hence a comprehensive programme is envisaged for creating opportunities and access for private sector development.
Sierra Leone’s small size and natural resource endowments make the trade sector a strategic one for the growth of the economy. Hence the new SLPP government will place trade high on its list of priorities. A number of studies including administrative barriers to trade and investment, a Diagnostic Trade and Investment Study (DTIS) and a WTO Trade Policy Review have been completed. Government has started the implementation of some of the recommendations of these studies.
Also, consultations are on-going with development partners on the process for the development of a competition policy.
To reduce the cost of imports and to promote exports, the highest tariff band was removed in 2004. In January 2005, Sierra Leone became the first ECOWAS member state to adopt the Common External Tariff (CET) and when given the mandate, the SLPP Government will fully implement the CET.
The next SLPP regime will pursue the following: complete the formulation of a comprehensive Private Sector Development Strategy that will address all the remaining constraints to private sector operations.
Design schemes to encourage local businesses and credible Sierra Leoneans in Diaspora participate in the local private sector.
Implement recommendations from studies, particularly those relating to administrative barriers to investment
Revisit the investment code and make it more robust. Revisit the privatization scheme, with the objective of moving the privatization of selected public enterprises to the next stage where identified assets will be sold; continue to work on the development of a new Companies Act, a Bankruptcy Act, a Securities Act and a venture capital scheme.
Continue the implementation of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET).
The SLPP government will remain committed to improving regulations that affect businesses and will therefore broaden and deepen regulatory reforms in areas such as labour laws, property registration and licensing procedures.
Aggressively market our business potentials through the organisation of business fora in Sierra Leone and participation in fora overseas.