By Jariatu S. Bangura
Members of Parliament have debated and ratified the framework agreement between the Republic of Sierra Leone and Arise Integrated Industrial platforms concerning the implementation of a special economic zone in Sierra Leone dated April 2023.
Also, they ratified agreement between the Government of Sierra Leone and GVR Bottlers Company (SL) Limited dated March 2023 and agreement between the Government of Sierra Leone and Kadat Foods & Beverages (SL) Limited dated, April 2023.
Minister of Trade and Industry, Hinga Sandy said the agreements will boost the economy of the country as the GVR Bottlers Company will be replacing the Sierra Leone Bottling Company that have moved their operations to Guinea even though the company wanted to use the market whilst production is no longer taking place in the country.
He said the government thought it fit to close their agreement and allow others to use the space for Sierra Leoneans to benefit in terms of job creation and many more.
He stated that Arise IIP will be opening space for economic zone that will bring greater opportunities for the country.
He added that the Kadat Foods and Beverage will be replacing the Grafton Spring Water Company as though the company have started operations in the country. He said they have started producing the bravely spring water that is almost in the market but they wanted to expand their operations with non-alcoholic beverages.
MPs however lauded the agreements on the basis that they hope the citizens would be considered first with job opportunities among other benefits.
They said Arise IIP should note that they are not the first to commence economic zone operation in the country therefore they should tread with caution for the good of all.