Monrovia-April-11-2024-TNR:The Center for the Exchange of Intellectual Opinions (CEIO) has conveyed its heartfelt appreciation to Mr. Lakshmi Mittal, the Executive Chairman of ArcelorMittal Global, for his recent visit to the country.

In a statement exclusively released yesterday from CEIO’s headquarters in Monrovia, the group emphasized the crucial role of robust partnerships in fostering Liberia’s progress.

CEIO’s acknowledgment comes after a key meeting between President Joseph Nyuma Boakai and Mr. Lakshmi Mittal, the Executive Chairman of ArcelorMittal Global, where discussions centered around enhancing Liberia’s investment climate.

The commitment made by ArcelorMittal Liberia to inject $1.4 billion into expanding its operations to a total of 3 billion in Liberia CEIO said has ignited optimism for the nation’s economic landscape, promising job creation and critical infrastructure development.

Reading the statement Wednesday CEIO’s Chairman Dax Elliott the meeting with ArcelorMittal’s global executive shows President Boakai’s unwavering dedication to sustainable development, epitomized by initiatives such as the Agriculture, Roads, Rule of Law, Education, Sanitation, and Tourism (ARREST) Agenda, was applauded by CEIO.

According to Elliotte, Mr. Mittal has seen an ideal partnership in Liberian has an ideal investment designation, which convinced him to increase investment in Liberia by more than 50%.

He said with the conclusion of the meeting with Mr. Mittal, the President and members of his government must now move to “resolve and conclude” on all outstanding issues in the 3rd AML mineral development agreement to make Liberians benefit the additional 2000 direct jobs the amendment promises.

Dax Elliotte said, “The President’s commitment to concluding the long-pending Third Amendment to the ArcelorMittal Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) was hailed as essential for ensuring transparency and accountability in natural resource management.”

CEIO voiced concerns over the delay in finalizing the Third Amendment, which has been pending since September 2021 and urged President Boakai and his administration to prioritize its conclusion, as the President stated during the meeting to ensureequitable benefits for Liberians from investments in the resource sector.

“ArcelorMittal’s pledge to invest in vocational training programs and support technical education institutes was lauded by CEIO as a significant step towards empowering Liberian youth with essential skills. The organization emphasized the importance of such collaborative efforts in enriching Liberia’s talent pool and driving socioeconomic advancement across the nation”, CEIO Chairman noted.

Elliotte stressed that in particular, it was soul lifting to hear that Mr. Mittal and the ArcelorMittal Global group have committed to help solve a key challenge to Liberia’s socio-economic development- the trafficking and consumption of illicit drugs.

“ArcelorMittal’s boldly pledged to support Liberia by investing in community programs and initiatives aimed at raising awareness among local communities about the risks associated with harmful substance use, safeguarding livelihoods, and the wellbeing of Liberians. This is in the strongest terms commendable given the drug culture that has engulfed our dear nation”, the statement added.

Highlighting the significance of multi-stakeholder collaborations, Elliotte stressed the need for partnerships between the government, private sector, and civil society organizations to effectively address Liberia’s complex challenges, especially the high unemployment rate.  

Meanwhile, the Center for the Exchange of Intellectual Opinions has called for continued dialogue, transparency, and accountability in governance and investment to safeguard the interests of all Liberians.

CEIO reiterated its commitment to supporting initiatives promoting sustainable development, economic prosperity, and social equity in Liberia. The organization urged collective efforts towards building a nation where every Liberian can thrive, leaving behind a legacy of progress and prosperity for generations to come.

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