Message from the British High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Mr Guy Warrington
On behalf of the British Government in Sierra Leone, I wish Insight Magazine and Herbert Smith Freehills every success in hosting their third annual Invest in Sierra Leone event. I am sure it will build on the successes of previous years.
As Sierra Leone’s only annual forum dedicated to investment in the country, Invest Sierra Leone plays a major role in highlighting the important investment opportunities here.
This year’s Invest Sierra Leone theme is ‘a tradition of innovation’. Innovation turned into commercial application is at the heart of the economy of the UK. It is just as important for the economy of Sierra Leone.
Investment is key to any country’s development, and we welcome the importance the Government of Sierra Leone has placed on FDI. The government has demonstrated a commitment to reforming trade and investment polices to encourage private sector-led economic revitalisation. The President has repeatedly said that the nation’s economic growth will be driven by the private sector rather than solely through public sector activities and development assistance.
With Sierra Leone’s national elections scheduled for March 2018, it is important that we continue to build Sierra Leone’s reputation as an increasingly stable investment environment. To help the predictability that makes investment attractive we welcome Sierra Leone becoming a signatory to the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards and we encourage the Government to adopt the recommendations made in the 2017 Sierra Leone Commercial Law Summit Report.
As polling day draws nearer we will be looking to whoever forms the new government of Sierra Leone to support an attractive and predictable investment climate in order to create jobs for the estimated 100,000 young people who enter Sierra Leone’s job market every year.
Sierra Leone has a range of investment opportunities across different sectors, including infrastructure, tourism, natural resources, agriculture and fisheries. If Sierra Leone’s potential can be harnessed to create sustainable long term growth on behalf of all its people, it could become a real economic force and a major market in which to do business.
The Government of Sierra Leone – with UK and international community support – is working to diversify its economy, improve transparency, and develop its infrastructure. Private sector investment is central to unlocking the potential and will define Sierra Leone’s future for years to come.
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