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As Trade Fair and Exhibition opens…

VP assures small businesses

April 23, 2018 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

trade

Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Bah has assured of the government’s determination to provide an enabling environment and level playing field for small businesses to thrive as it would be crucial for economic growth.

According to Dr. Jalloh, it is imperative for countries to encourage and promote indigenous businesses in order to accelerate growth.

He was speaking Friday, April 20, during the official opening of this year’s International Trade Fair and Exhibition, which is being organised by the Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture.

“I understand the challenges and the significance to the growth and sustainability of small businesses. As a government, we will do our best to provide a conducive environment for small businesses to grow,” he said.

Dr. Jalloh also assured of the government’s determination to improve infrastructure and communication networks in other that small businesses could move their goods and gain access to services at reasonable cost.

He reiterated President Julius Maada Bio’s commitment to revamping the economy, adding that concrete steps have already been taken to redeem the economy from the brink of recklessness that the previous government dumped it.

After the new administration operationalised the Treasury Single Account, the Vice President noted that the action has allowed the government to effectively establish control over revenue generation and expenditure.

“We will invest in education and skills training to provide the manpower for small businesses need for entrepreneurial development and competitiveness. Today’s gathering is a testimony to our government’s commitment to support the growth and development of small businesses,” Dr. Jalloh assured.

The trade fair, the Vice President said, would propel trade and movement of goods and services that are vital to leveraging the country’s economic growth.

He added that the new administration was satisfied that people and the business community have been working relentlessly to support government’s efforts to bolster the economy.

Speaking earlier, President of Chamber of Commerce, Christo Forster, said the rationale for staging the trade fair was to showcase the country’s trade and small businesses.

“Businesses in Sierra Leone have a lot of challenges. Let me say that this trade fair and exhibition is where Sierra Leonean businesses can showcase their goods and services. We have consistently had over the past years a large contingent from Ghana and other exhibitors from Egypt, Ivory Coast and Benin,” he said.

Foster asserted that the private sector was very important to any economy because they pay taxes and help finance government projects.

According to him, they always advise their members to be good corporate citizens by paying taxes in a proper manner and at the right time.

He also urged the government to provide an enabling environment where businesses could flourish and at the same time pay the requisite taxes.

On behalf of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Chief Director, Charles M. Thompson, said trade readily achieves and cements economic integration among member states, while facilitating linkages of inter-regional trade and investment.