Deputy Commerce Minister for Public Affairs, Rufus Neufville, said Section 21, Schedule 1 & 2 of the Liberia Investment Act sets aside certain businesses including sand mining, block making, peddling, travel agencies and retail sale of rice and cement only for Liberians.
Deputy Minister Neufville named other businesses the Act sets aside exclusively for Liberians as making and sale of ice, tire repair shop, auto repair shop with an investment of less than US$ 50,000 and Shoe repair shop, retail sale of timber and plank and gas station operation, among others.
As part of the measures to enforce the law, Minister Neufville said a Taskforce has been set up to work with relevant government institutions to ensure compliance of the law.
Addressing a press conference yesterday in Monrovia, Minister Neufville however noted that the Investment Act also has a second category of businesses with foreign ownership under certain conditions.
According to him, the Act allows foreigners to exclusively own certain businesses with a total capital investment not less than US$ 500,000 with an aggregated shareholding of Liberians with at least 25% of the total capital investment not less than US$ 300,000.
He said the businesses include the production and supply of stone and granite, ice cream manufacturing, commercial printing, advertizing agencies, graphic and commercial arties, cinemas, production of poultry and poultry products and the operation of water purification or bottling plant.
Minister Neufville noted that Commerce Ministry will meticulously uphold the Liberalization Policy which is an objective of the government to make its citizens entrepreneurs and also provide jobs.
Also speaking at the press conference, Assistant Commerce Minister for Trade, Stephen Marvie, said the Taskforce will go out vigorously in implementing the Liberalization law.
Assistant Minister Marvie indicated that the ministry has observed that foreigners are engaged in operating businesses exclusively set aside for Liberians without regard to the law.
Minister Marvie warned foreigners that are violating the law to desist as violators will be arrested, find and their businesses closed down.