Small and medium sized businesses are at the heart of Liberia's private sector, and the National Investment Commission (NIC) helps to identify opportunities for the promotion and development of such enterprises.
The NIC, with support from the German International Corporation (GIZ), developed a report entitled Promotion of Business Linkages in the Extractives Sector in Liberia (click here to download report). Developed based upon desk and field research studies conducted in March and April of 2011, the report analyzes Liberia's current concession environments, and identifies potential areas where linkages could be built between large companies and local businesses through the provision of goods and services, the development of related industries and value-adding products. This report is critical because it proposes a tangible solution for increasing domestic benefits from large foreign concessions. If implemented this could serve as a catalyst for domestic businesses to grow and develop.
The development of economic linkages between foreign companies and local firms has the potential to benefit both foreign and domestic firms. For some goods and services, foreign companies benefit from procuring locally because of cost savings and/or the convenience of having local services. Local procurement can also help enhance relationships with local communities and national governments. For the study, a rough scan of the agriculture, mining and energy industries was conducted and areas for economic linkages were identified.
The report builds upon government, private sector and donor initiatives, such as the Liberia Better Business Forum (www.lbbf.org), the Central Bank of Liberia's Credit Support Program, and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry's Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Policy by proposing a viable method for increasing access to markets, access to finance, and building the knowledge and skills of MSMEs.
As a result of the study, the NIC is examining opportunities for rolling out a one-year pilot program. If implemented the pilot program would be launched with support from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and would incorporate the provision of business linkage and business development services to small and medium-sized enterprises, allowing them to inclusively participate in viable economic activities.
For a copy of the report, Promotion of Business Linkages in the Extractives Sector in Liberia, please click here.
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