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World Bank approves US$40M package to support Liberia’s private sectors

LIBERIA – The World Bank has approved a US$40 million financing package to improve the investment climate, expand sustainable access to finance, and increase the efficiency of trade in Liberia.

The financing package(US$20 million grant and  US$20 million credit) will go to Liberia Investment, Finance, and Trade (LIFT) project as the first World Bank backed-projects in generations to improve the private and financial sector.

In doing so, the project is supporting Liberia’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, in particular, pillar two that focuses on the Economy and Jobs.

It has been prepared under the Government’s leadership and in close collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and other Donors that are also supporting Liberia’s private and financial sectors.

The financing package will be critical to supporting the Government’s jobs agenda, as it is through the private sector that Liberia can create more sustainable jobs,” said Khwima Nthara, World Bank Country Manager in Liberia.

In particular, building on recent improvements in macroeconomic indicators, the project will support far-reaching structural reforms that will improve the business environment and hence, send a clear message that Liberia is truly open for business.”

This new project will improve Liberia’s investment climate by strengthening institutions providing government-to-business services covering investment support, business licensing, and an international trade single window.

It also plans to improve the capabilities and competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises through targeted technical assistance linking them to markets and access to finance.

Additionally, the Liberia Investment, Finance, and Trade Project seeks towards supporting access to digital financial services, through a new National Electronic Payment Switch, and a Credit Reference System.

The need for increased private sector investment and for SMEs to have access to markets and finance is very critical,” said Task Team Leaders Thomas Vis and Kiyotaka Tanaka.

The  LIFT Project will seek to capitalize on emerging national, regional, and international trade opportunities.

The project will offer a combination of technical assistance and finance to support SMEs to access markets, improve capabilities, and increase productivity.

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