Saturday, April 14, 2007

Investor's Guide to Liberia

Thanks Paulo for sending this Investor's Guide to Liberia [.pdf], written by The National Investment Commission with the help of Columbia University and the Earth Institute.

With this and other efforts, the government is showing that it's serious and honest about attracting FDI. But there's still a long way to go in convincing lower-level government officials to make investors feel welcome. I hear horror stories about foreigners being made to pay bribes and endless fees when they start a business.

And while we're on the topic, I am tired of reading jingoistic newspaper screeds about the need to "Liberianize" the economy, where foreigners, especially Lebanese and Chinese, are painted as slave-drivers and opportunists. We would all prefer to see a Liberia that is owned and operated by Liberians. But with 85% unemployment, crippling brain-drain, and an utter lack of investment capital, people should be thankful to have these foreign businesses creating jobs and increasing human capacity.


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