By Julius T. Jaesen II
MONROVIA–Foreign Direct investment is one of the most crucial and delicate sectors for emerging economies. Inevitably, a country’s economic development and job prospects will increase if its government fosters an atmosphere conducive to attracting Foreign Direct Investment. Furthermore, the investment made by ArcelorMittal over the last 15 years demonstrates this point. The investment made by AML in Liberia has contributed to the growth of our economy.
ArcelorMittal has not only brought a slew of highly productive resources to the Liberian economy, but its presence here has also had a discernible and beneficial effect on the local employment market. As such, I think it’s imperative that we approve AML’s phase two expansion project now, particularly in light of the company’s desire to increase its commitment in Liberia by spending an extra $1 billion here.
Significant decreases in Foreign Direct Investment and profound economic contractions have already occurred as a consequence of the global economic crisis of Covid-19 and the efforts adopted by African countries to limit the spread of the epidemic. IMF and World Bank predictions show that our economy would bloom and GDP will increase if AML decides to remain in Liberia and extend its activities. This is in contrast to the situation in other African governments, who are dealing with the disastrous consequences of Covid-19 on their economies.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) prospects in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa remain cloudy due to the ongoing and unknown impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic. Unfortunately, this is bad news for Africa. Therefore, keeping our biggest investor we have right now in our nation, which wants to develop beyond its existing capacity and therefore generate employment for our young people and assist boost the size of government’s budget via the royalties and other taxes is of essential significance. While we urge prudence on the part of our government, we also believe that they should ratify the agreement and show their support for AML’s phase two expansion.
Trying to improve our people’s standard of living in Liberia is becoming very challenging. Therefore, we must never say goodbye to ArcelorMittal, whose phase two development may open doors to economic growth and provide direct and indirect employment prospects for our hopeless young people who live in acute despair.