In his opening remarks, the President of the Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (SLICCIA), Christopher Forster encouraged participants to utilize the opportunity to export to the United State of America, on a duty free tax concession, as such initiative would boost Sierra Leone’s business sector.
He furthered that it was a golden opportunity for the country, and a way of enhancing the understanding of the African Growth Opportunity Act and how it could be utilized to promote trade and investment.
The Coordinator of the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA), Ayodele Wak-Williams called on her business partners to join her bandwagon, on the grounds that such laudable initiative would create more opportunity for economic growth and employment for country’s workforce.
“There are certain infrastructures facilities in the country, coupled with the ongoing road construction in various part of the country, including the toll road and Sierra Leone had not been part in the African Growth Opportunity for the past seventeen years, but that the seventeen years would now be used to stimulate trade and investment,” Ayodele Wak-Williams added.
She mentioned that the initiative would also empower farmers to produce adequate local food stuffs, adding that the Bitter Cola alcohol drink was produced by Shankerdas manufacturing company and was certified produce including twelve more agricultural produce.
A representative from the American Embassy, Raymond Kamara said the preferential trade agreement for West African nations was a clear demonstration of the United State of America commitment and support to regional trade and investment.
He reiterated that the African Growth Opportunity had helped Sub-Saharan countries towards promoting democracy and promotes good governance.
On his part, the country coordinator of USAID Sierra Leone, Khadijat Mojidi stated that his institution had contributed immensely in increasing the value and volume of local produce exported from West African countries, and it had addressed challenges in intra-regional and export-oriented agricultural and value added trade.