British Chamber of Commerce has been relaunched at the British High Commissioner’s Hill Station residence.
The event attracted representatives from Sierra Leone’s business community, MDAs and NGOs who all gathered to witness the relaunch of the British Chamber of Commerce Sierra Leone.
Established in 2012 to aid and encourage the development of trade, commerce and investment between Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom, the Chamber is being relaunched under the theme “Sierra Leone is taking a New Direction”. In his opening remarks, British High Commissioner Guy Warrington, who doubles as Deputy Chair of the Chamber, reiterated that the UK remains deeply committed to Sierra Leone. This has been proven time and again, during the Civil War, Ebola and the landslide. The UK has also made long term commitments in the Security Sector and remains the largest bilateral donor to SL by far, with contributions through bilateral and multilateral programmes of over £132 million last year. He however stressed that wealth creation can never primarily be a government business, but this can be achieved through a vibrant local private sector and overseas investment. Her Majesty’s Government and this Chamber will support Sierra Leone in this. He thanked guests for demonstrating their faith in Sierra Leone through their investments, and urged them to sign up for membership, forms for which can be obtained from The High Commission, British Council or on the, soon to be launched, Chamber website. Presenting the revised Chamber, newly elected Chair Mr. Idrissa Kamara, Managing Director of Standard Chartered Bank, explained that the Chamber ‘believes in the longterm investment opportunity presented by Sierra Leone and is committed to strengthening commercial ties between Britain and Sierra Leone’. Chronicling the achievements of the Chamber, Mr Kamara highlighted British private sector support to Sierra Leone during the Ebola period and its role in the production of the publication “Sierra Leone: An Investor’s Guide – A Private Sector Perspective on the Investment Landscape”. Responding to Mr. Kamara’s comments, Deputy Minister of Finance Dr. Patricia Laverley highlighted the importance of strategic alliances to attract much needed foreign direct investment to Sierra Leone which would, in turn, drive economic growth. She expressed the government’s desire to see Sierra Leone harness her potential to create sustainable long-term growth and become a real economic force and a major market in which to do business.