Registrants and guests in a group photo
Registrants and guests in a group photo

Commerce Ministry Begins Free Registration for Informal Sector Businesses

Press Release: Tuesday, May 28, 2024: The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has begun free registration for scores of local petty traders from the informal to the formal sector of the country’s business environment. The official program was launched May 28, 2024, at the EJS Ministerial Complex in Congo Town which is targeting about 10,000 members of the informal business sector of Liberia.

Speaking during the program, Commerce and Industry Minister, Amin Modad admonished the petty traders to strive positively so that they can be active participants in the Liberian economy. He says the Liberian government looks forward to seeing majority of the petty traders transitioned from their current statuses to owner of stores or even bigger businesses.

Minister Modad described petty traders as the foundation of the Liberian economy, security and peace, regardless of what sector they find themselves in. He said the government through its ARREST Agenda remains committed to creating the necessary environment that addresses the needs of its citizens focuses on a vibrant private sector.

He said ushering the petty traders into the formal sector through the registration is also intended to place them on the path of entrepreneurship.  “We strategically planned this around utilizing students from the various   universities and I   think we have recruited about 150 students,” Minister Modad said.

During the program, Minister Modad along with partners cut the ribbon to Petty Trader Registration Center at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry under its Small Business Administration.


Speaking at the ceremony, UNDP Resident Representative to Liberia, Louis Kuukpen said the informal sector contributes about 6 million to the GDP per annual based on some survey statistics available to him. Taking such statistics into account, it means the informal sector plays a key role in contributing   to the growth and development of the local economy.  He encouraged the petty traders to realize that being formally registered will help legitimize their business activities and earn them a legal status. “It also means you can now separate your personal life from   that of your business” he added.


Also speaking during the program, the President of the Federation of Petty Traders and Informal Workers Union of Liberia, Charles Konneh indicated that the group was established in 2009 through the support of former Liberian Leader, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as a means of giving them voice to advocate for their rights in society. Mr. Konneh added that the group looks forward to working along with other institutions, including the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Monrovia City Corporation, Paynesville City Corporation, etc in the spirit of active collaboration. He commended the Senior Management Team of the Commerce Ministry and partners for working together to address issues affecting petty traders in the country.