At MICAT Briefing: Prof. Tarpeh Provides Critical Diagnosis of Liberian Economy

Commerce Boss, Prof. Tarpeh
Commerce Boss, Prof. Tarpeh
Photo Credit: Public Affairs

Friday: May 24, 2019: The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Professor Wilson K, Tarpeh, has said his Entity is in consultations with the Central Bank of Liberia to find an amicable solution the negative factors affecting the advancement of the Liberian economy.

 Minister Tarpeh named one of the issues affecting the Liberian economy, particularly price control as the unrelenting rise in the value of the United States Dollar against the Liberian Dollar.

He said as the Liberian Dollar continues to decline in value to the United Sates Dollar, price control continues to pose a serious challenge, thereby inflicting more pains  on the Liberian people, mainly ordinary ones who have been struggling to make ends meet in the business sector of the Country.

The Liberian Chief Trade Negotiator indicated that President Weah made a vow  during his inauguration in 2018 to  get Liberians from the bench of being spectators to active participants in the economy.

“The President’s vow remains unhanged and he is committed to realizing such vow  and so we want the public to know,” Minister Tarpeh emphasized.

Professor Tarpeh, addressing the weekly briefing of the Ministry of Information of Information, Culture and Tourism on Thursday, May 23, 2019, observed that unless tougher measures are put in place by government to tackle the issue of price control in the Country, the citizens may not feel the impact of steps the CDC led-Government of President George M. Weah, has been taking    to alleviate the hardship being experienced by Liberians.

For instance, he said government, was able to reduce the retail price   of  rice from US$16.50 to US$13.50. The release also quotes him as  saying that   consultations are ongoing with the business community and the CBL concerning how to address some of the challenges in the Liberian economy.

He noted further that plans are afoot in the next 45 days to ensure that all transactions in the country are priced in Liberian Dollar, using the CBL rate and that business people will be required to hang their rate up for customers to see it so that informed purchasing decision can be made, amongst other measures.

The Liberian Commerce and Industry Minister was however quick to note that a lot of the citizens and others seem  not  to be  feeling the impact of the government’s decision due to the constant rise in the value of the US Dollar against the Liberian Dollar.

Providing an overview of factors that continue to   undermine the improvement of the Liberian economy, Minister Tarpeh noted further that is it not economically and realistically prudent in any modern society  for people to be seen all over the country, including street shoulders exchanging money.

According to him, people involved in the exchange market are normally authorized or licensed in other countries as opposed to what is obtaining in Liberia.

“In this country we have the dual currency regime; the Liberian Dollar and the United States Dollar. In situation like this, where you have dual currency, there will be problem with price. “he added.

 He assured the Liberian people of government’s commitment to taking the needed steps through tougher decisions to address the situation.

Jacob N.B. Parley
Communications Director
Ministry of Commerce and Industry