Liberia looks to improve relations between investors, residents with NIC

NIC Executive Director George Wisner speaking at the Ministry of Information press briefing
NIC Executive Director George Wisner speaking at the Ministry of Information press briefing

Amid growing violence in concession areas, Liberia's National Investment Commission (NIC) said Oct. 18 it will institute a new program to proactively prevent disputes between residents and foreign investors.

The Free Prior Informed Consent Process will be required to obtain consent from Liberians living in an area of proposed development before NIC is allowed to open it to investors.

While the process is meant in part to calm residents who feel they have been encroached upon by investors, NIC stressed that the country is still eagerly seeking new investment and urged fellow Liberians to do their part to not scare away new business that could be good for the country overall.

“The protection and promotion of investors in the country is not the business of government alone, but also the responsibility of every Liberian," NIC Executive Director George Wisner said.

The new process will be necessary for all existing and future concessions contracts, which are a crucial component of the Liberian economy. Between 2004 and 2010, the amount of foreign investment in Liberia via concessions contracts grew 500 percent, accounting for more than $453 million. This accounts for approximately one quarter of Liberia's GDP.

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National Investment Commission - Liberia

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