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January 31,2013 Monrovia, Liberia

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in partnership with the National Investment Commission, held a reception on the evening of January 30, 2013, in honor of the members of the United Nations’ High Level Panel, who are responsible for setting the global development agenda to fight against poverty and promote sustainable development beyond 2015. The Panel has been hosting meetings in Monrovia this week under the theme of: 'National Building Blocks for Sustained Prosperity,' with a particular focus on economic transformation.

NIC investment stakeholders such as the International Finance Corporation, Putu Iron Ore Mining Company, Sime Darby and African Petroleum supported this effort to highlight Liberia’s investment climate and business opportunities.Heads of international businesses, foreign direct investors currently operating in Liberia, members of the business community and others attended the networking reception.

During the reception, National Investment Commission Chairman O. Natty B. Davis, II stated that based on an assessment of 25 sub-sectors in Liberia and input from stakeholders, the Commission has identified and prioritized three sectors with the greatest investment potential—fisheries, horticulture, and transportation.Last year the National Investment Commission, with support from the International Finance Corporation, assessed sectors ranging across agribusiness, light manufacturing and energy and transportation sectors to determine their levels of impact, opportunities, capability, and readiness.

The Chairman mentioned that the prioritization of the three sectors will help ensure that a more targeted, coordinated and strategic approach is utilized to generate investment for Liberia.As it relates to the fishery sector, the world market, particularly Africa and Asia, has seen a growing demand for fresh and processed fish products, and Liberia has ample fish stock and a long coastline suited for fishery. A focus on fruit and vegetable processing of items such as cassava, pineapples, and mangoes would increase the value of exported primary commodities. Investment in land, air and marine transportation will further enhance the productivity of multiple sectors; for instance, it could improve efficiency of the agricultural value chain by improving access to isolated parts of the country and making the transport of goods between regions more efficient.

The reception is just one of the activities that the National Investment Commission participated in during the week. Earlier in the day, Hon. O. Natty B. Davis, II also participated in a roundtable discussion of African Business Leaders at the High Level Panel Meeting. Organized by Unilever, the discussion focused on the role of the private sector in the post-2015 agenda and was held between government and private sector representatives. Attendees included Pan-African Companies and African Representatives of Global Multinationals.

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