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Liberia’s VP Receives Italian Guests; Discusses Investment Opportunity

Left to right, Dr. Millici, VP Boakai, EWAFITT’s CEO Ms. Peters, Mr. Parisi, and Musons Group, Inc.’s CEO Mulbah

West Africa – Globe Afrique has learned that several international investors from the United States and Europe, especially Italian businesses, are expressing vital investment and trade interests in Liberia due to expressed confidence in the leadership of Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai whom they presume could win the October 2017 presidential poll to succeed outgoing president Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in January 2018.

Dr. Millici decorates Vice President Boakai

In New York, several prominent investment bankers and hedge fund managers believe that Liberia is a significant environment for regional business concentration in West Africa for many reasons, including the West African nation’s geographic location, its legal alignment with US and other western laws and political systems, as well as its history of amicable bilateral relationship with the United States, Israel, member states of the European Union and multiple Middle Eastern countries.

The investors and large businesses want to focus on investment in infrastructure, manufacturing, medical services, construction, agricultural food production, leisure and hospitality as well as trade and tourism.

Reliable sources in a number of western countries where global political analysts are closely monitoring events and development in Liberia say Vice President Boakai appears to be a trusted leader with the required experience, wisdom and inherent understanding to reshape Liberia in terms of forging national reconciliation and unity, ensuring lasting peace, eliminating or reducing corruption and conflict of interest as well as in accelerating national development.

Delegation visits Musons Group, Inc.’s offices

The vice president who also has a cordial and warmth relationship with former  U.S. president Barack H. Obama and former First Lady Michele Robinson Obama is said to be under serious consideration in many think tank circles in Washngton, DC.   The Obamas family, sources say, personally like the Liberian vice president for his demeanor and personality as a sincere individual of character, are mostly likey to attend his inauguration as the next president of Liberia if he becomes the winner of the October’s presidential election.

Others rumoured to certainly attend a future President Boakai’s inauguration include current South Africa’s vice president Cyril Ramaphosa, former Ghanaian president John Mahama and the leaders of Turkey and Malaysia, according to sources.

This week, the vice president received a special delegation from Italy as an advanced informational team to initiate discussions about Italian business leaders’ interest in Liberia.

The delegation which came to Liberia through the facilitation of the Europe – West Africa Forum for Investment, Trade and Tourism (EWAFITT) on behalf of Italian prince Don Thorbjon Paterno Castello of the city Bologna , met with the vice president Friday.

The delegation included Dr. Ricardo Millici, a medical doctor, medical equipment investor and renowned scientist whose invention is widely used in the United States. Others included Giovanni Parisi, and Ms. Theresa Siah Jassah Peters, an Italian-Liberian who is the president of the Europe-West Africa Forum for Investment, Trade and Tourism.

VP Boakai with delegation

Some time ago, Prince Castello of the city of Bologna in Italy communicated with Vice President Boakai regarding Italian businesses and investors’ interest to foster an unprecedented business and commercial relations with Liberia in multiple industry sectors.

In furtherance of those communications, Dr. Ricardo Millici, a special envoy and assistant to the prince, has decided to visit Liberia along with Giovanni Parisi to meet with the vice president for what is described as “preliminary and informational talks.”

Ms. Peters, EWAFITT’s president and CEO, said Liberia stands to benefit from increased business opportunities under a more inclusive and business atmosphere in the country. She said, “There are many investors and businesses in Europe, particular in Italy, that are willing to invest and work with Liberia overcome its unemployment difficulties. These businesses and investors will invest in various areas, particularly in healthcare, so that Liberians will benefit and have access to improved healthcare services.”­

We need to make Liberia a tourists’ destination for people from around the world. Tourism is an industry that has been overlooked in Liberia,” she said.  She plans to assist the future government of Liberia boost tourism as well as in establishing an investment conference roundtable between Europe, Liberia and other interested countries in Mano River Union.

In another development, about three major US banks as well as some large retailers are also planning to open branches in Liberia under a Boakai’s administration.  There are also discussions underway for a local car manufacturing plant to be built in West Africa.  Darin Burns, an American auto engineer who spent over two decades in design and engineering at General Motors in Detroit, Michigan, the lagest auto market in the United States and one of the largest in the world, is conducting a feasibility studies for the project.

So far, Nigeria and Liberia are high on the list of countries in West Africa in which the planners are considering for the construction of the plant. According to sources, the plant is likely to be built in Liberia should VP Boakai becomes the next president.

Also, receiving the Italian visitors was a local prominent Liberian investor and business executive Joe Genn Mulbah, CEO of Musons Group Inc., a fast growing firm that specializes in architectural and construction services, real estate, and miscellaneous investments.

Mulbah thanked the delegation, saying, “Liberia is becoming fully prepared and we are opened for business as a country and people.  Investments and businesses will drive the Liberian economy and create jobs.  Musons Group, Inc. will play a major role in the full scale job creation process of Liberia,” he said.

Musons Group, Inc. is presently in the process of developing the first of a kind and state-of-the-art resort that will include a large hotel, a conference center, an helicopter ride and indoor sports center, and an ocean view for boat ride etc. in Liberia.

“We want to make Liberia a new go-to international tourists’ destination in the next few years,” Mulbah said. “This will required major partnership with international investors,” he added.

Musons Group, Inc. is one of the most successful local Liberian businesses. Since its founding, the company has contributed immensely to the Liberian economy through tax revenue and by providing employment opportunities for some Liberians.

The Musons Groups, Inc’s CEO said, “Working with the Liberian legislature and various government agencies in terms of making Liberia business friendly, protecting the interest of investors and ensuring that heavy tax burdens are lifted on imports and exports so that Liberia becomes a major transhippment hub in the sub region would create more jobs for unemployed Liberians.”

The company promises to work with investors in Europe and around the world, including the Italian group, in bringing to fruition its state-of-the-art resort project estimated at $70 million dollars plus United States.

In a statement obtained by Globe Afrique, the Italian visiting team is expected to depart Liberia within the next few days upon completion of its factfinding mission regarding Liberia’s potential business and investment readiness.

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Dave Okonjie

Dave Okonjie is a public affairs analyst, researcher and senior issues correspondent.
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