NEW DELHI: Liberia, a West African nation, today invited Indian companies to invest in various sectors including infrastructure, agriculture and minerals aimed at strengthening commercial ties between both the countries.
"Liberia is open for providing a conducive business environment and welcomes you. So, we look forward to a partnership with you in several areas like infrastructure, mining, marine and rubber," Liberia's visiting President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said here at an event organised jointly by Ficci, CII and Assocham.
"We will ensure that we will create an open and transparent environment which guarantee investors a good return on their investment, while respecting the rights and dignity of our citizens," Sirleaf, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, added.
Tourism is another area which has a huge potential but infrastructure is the major constraint to the sector's growth as there are inadequate number of roads, bridges, water and power distribution, said Sirleaf.
"Therefore, there is an urgent need to attract more investments in infrastructure as well as hospitality sectors to develop the country's tourism industry," she said.
India and Liberia share close and friendly relations. Liberia's rich natural resources and its programme in the areas of infrastructure and industrial development, provide opportunities for enhancement of trade and investment ties between the two countries.
"We have reserves of gold, diamonds, hydrocarbons, besides fertile land. Agriculture is our core strength and rubber is our traditional exports. I think there is a great potential in wood sector and its products and Indian companies can do value addition to this," Sirleaf said.
To attract more investments, she said: "We offer tax incentives and we are harmonising customs duties."
So far, Indian companies have invested about USD 189 million in Liberia.
As far the bilateral trade is concerned, India's major exports to Liberia include engineering items, pharmaceuticals, plastic and steel, while imports to India comprise metals, ore and scrap, gold and diamond.
The bilateral trade between the two countries stood at USD 148 million in 2012-13.