Hon. Augustus J. Flomo, Ministry of Finance and Develop Planning’s Deputy Minister for Economic Management, has told the ACP-EU Private Sector Forum that private sector growth is cardinal to Liberia’s domestic revenue generation.
Minister Flomo was speaking in Brussels at the 108th Session of the African Pacific Caribbean (ACP) Ministerial Council and European Union (EU).
The private sector, according to him, has a critical role to play in delivering services to the public.
He asserted that with a strong private sector, capacity for increased domestic revenue generation will be ensured to help finance government’s development agenda.
Minister Flomo speaking at the Forum about the private sector concerns in Liberia, informed the gathering that Liberia continues to look at specific programs that target the private sector in supporting the government’s development agenda.
He indicated that a smart and comprehensive private sector development program that is unique to Liberia will help the country’s development agenda under the ACP-EU Private Sector Development Framework.
“We believe that a smart and comprehensive private sector development program that is unique to Liberia will help support the country’s development agenda under the ACP-EU private sector development framework” Hon. Flomo said.
He told the Forum that the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) which seeks to lift one (1) million people in Liberia out of poverty over the next five years highlights infrastructural development with emphasis on roads construction and electricity expansion, agriculture development and diversification to help improve on food security and jobs opportunities for the population, human capital development as well digital economy and e-governance.
These areas, he explained, highlight the core areas of the development plan which will provide opportunities for the private sector to thrive especially in an atmosphere of sustained peace and improved governance something he described as other critical areas of focus for the government.
However, he added that along the path of the private sector development, government has identified four critical issues as challenges. He named access to finance, access to market, capacity of entrepreneurs and regulatory framework as the major challenges facing Liberia’s private sector.
With these challenges, he said, government and development partners including the EU continue to work in supporting the country’s economic agenda as well as working with the SME’s sector to enhance its capacity for increase productivity and efficiency in the private sector for delivery.
“We believe that achieving our development agenda and promoting private sector growth will support economic expansion plans and thereby create more jobs and opportunities in our local economies” he added.
He encouraged the ACP-EU Private Sector Framework to look into localizing its programming framework around the development of the private sector that specifically focuses on the unique characteristics of individual economies.
He lauded the ACP-EU Private Sector Forum for highlighting private sector development as core of their conversation, stating that the program when implemented fully will support and improve economic growth, create jobs and improve the lives of citizens in respective ACP countries.
The ACP-EU Private Sector Forum brings together countries of Africa, the Caribbean, Pacific and the European Union member states to discuss issues of partnership, economic growth and development as well as enhance good governance through the ACP-EU Parliamentary engagement among others.
ACP comprises of 79 countries in Africa, Caribbean, and the Pacific. The ACP countries are divided into: Africa – 48 Countries, Caribbean – 16 countries and Pacific- 15 Countries. While their Counterpart, the European Union (EU) is made of 28 Countries. Hence the total strength of the ACP-EU totaled 107 Countries. European Union and the ACP Group began in 1975 with the First Lomé Convention.