Monrovia, Liberia, June 19, 2012—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, today declared progress toward bridging
the financing gap for Liberian businesses by increasing affordable financing
options and driving sustainable market growth through leasing. Combined
legal and regulatory reforms in Liberia have created new financing opportunities,
providing a platform for a growing industry and products that local entrepreneurs
are now able to tap.
IFC, in partnership with Liberia’s National
Investment Commission and the Central Bank, was the sponsor earlier this
month of the first Liberia Leasing Investment Forum, which was aimed at
rapidly growing Liberia’s small leasing market by strengthening the existing
leasing structures and creating opportunities for investment by local and
Vice President of Liberia, HE Joseph N. Boakai,
said, “Over the past few years, the government has worked to create an
enabling environment for a vibrant leasing sector. With the passage of
a new Commercial Code in October 2010, which includes a modern and best
practice finance lease law, and the issue of leasing regulations by the
Central Bank in 2011, we have strengthened the regulatory and legislative
framework for leasing in Liberia.”
Worldwide, finance leasing has demonstrated
its ability to increase investment in capital equipment and play an important
role in economic development. It is an important alternative to traditional
means of financing, especially for smaller businesses that lack the credit
history or the required collateral to access traditional forms of financing.
The current market potential for leasing in Liberia is estimated to be
more than $200 million.
NIC Chairman Hon. O. Natty B. Davis, II.
said, “Investment in the leasing sector will be beneficial not only to
help local entrepreneurs, who would otherwise not have access to critical
equipment, but also to deliver excellent returns to lessors and suppliers.
Liberia’s economy will be the richer for it. Liberia is therefore actively
seeking leasing investors in the agriculture, infrastructure and extractive
industries which offer tremendous business potential.”
IFC Acting Resident Representative for Liberia,
Kobina Daniel, said, “Increasing interest, awareness and participation
of all local and regional stakeholders in leasing business development
is key to supporting widespread finance leasing opportunities for private
sector development in Liberia.”
The Forum brought together local and regional
participants from both the government and the private sector to explore
and act upon opportunities for investment in the leasing sector in Liberia.
IFC’s work on leasing in Liberia is currently supported by Ireland, the
Netherlands, and Norway through IFC’s Conflict Affected States in Africa
Initiative and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
For more information, please visit www.ifc.org/africaleasing/liberiaconference2012.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing
countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing
advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital
in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty
across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental
performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving
our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information,