Exporting to Liberia
President Obama announced the National Export Initiative (NEI) http://www.export.gov in 2010, with the goal of doubling exports by 2014. U.S. embassies are committed to supporting U.S. companies to start exporting or grow their exports to Liberia. In this section, you’ll find a quick description of Liberia as an export market and some suggestions for getting started.
Potential investors may wish to refer to the websites for Liberia’s National Investment Commission (http://investliberia.gov.lr/new) the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (www.moci.gov.lr) and the Liberia Business Registry (http://www.doingbusiness.org/data/exploreeconomies/liberia/starting-a-business) for more detailed information and guidance.
U.S. companies, or potential investors interested in doing business in Liberia should consider hiring an agent, attorney or distributor to develop and foster local partnerships. It would be imprudent to attempt to enter the market without doing thorough market research on Liberia to become familiar with the business environment, as well as the legal and regulatory framework.
Visit the export.gov page on Liberia (www.export.gov/Liberia/) to get an overview of economic conditions and opportunities. Access the U.S. Commercial Service Market Research Library containing more than 100,000 industry and country-specific market reports, authored by our specialists working in overseas posts.
The Library Includes:
- Country Commercial Guides (read latest “Doing Business In” guides)
- Industry Overviews
- Market Updates
- Multilateral Development Bank Reports
- Best Markets
- Industry/Regional Reports
Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDCs at www.sba.gov/content/small-business-development-centers-sbdcs). Starting a business can be a challenge, but there is help for you in your area. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are partnerships primarily between the government and colleges/universities administered by the Small Business Administration and aims at giving educational services for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Contact in-country business support organizations such as the Liberia Chamber of Commerce: http://www.lcclr.org/
We are not aware of any existing matchmaking services in Liberia, there are business advisory and investment consultancy services available. While we do not endorse or vouch for the services of any particular company, the economic and commercial section may be able to provide a short list of potential contacts for you to begin your research.
Investing in Liberia
Potential investors: Getting Started
If you are considering investment in Liberia, here are some steps you may wish to consider as you get started:
- Contact the U.S. Embassy – If you are planning a visit to consider investment, let us know by sending an email to the contact addresses on this page.
- Visit host country resources, such as National Investment Commission at http://investliberia.gov.lr/new
- Contact local business support organizations, such as the Liberian Chamber of Commerce at http://www.lcclr.org/
- You can register all types of businesses ranging from sole proprietorship to corporation at a one- stop-shop in the Liberia Business Registry, (http://www.doingbusiness.org/data/exploreeconomies/liberia/starting-a-business)
Current investors: Staying Connected
If you are a current U.S. investor in Liberia, the U.S Embassy wants to stay in touch. Here are a few steps you can take to keep the channels of communication open:
- Contact the U.S. Embassy – If you are active in Liberia, let us know by sending an email to the contact addresses on this page.
- Add us to your mailing lists – we are always happy to stay informed.
- Set up a meeting with our economic or commercial team to discuss any issues that arise.
Working in Liberia
In this section you will find information on business visas, travel advisories, and anti-corruption tools.
For information on obtaining a visa to visit Liberia, visit the website of the Embassy of Liberia in Washington, DC at http://www.liberianembassyus.org/index.php?page=consular
Make sure to check the State Department’s website for any current travel advisories for Liberia at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is an important anti-corruption tool designed to discourage corrupt business practices in favor of free and fair markets. The FCPA prohibits promising, offering, giving or authorizing giving anything of value to a foreign government official where the purpose is to obtain or retain business. These prohibitions apply to U.S. persons, both individuals and companies, and companies that are listed on U.S. exchanges. The statute also requires companies publicly traded in the U.S. to keep accurate books and records and implement appropriate internal controls.
More information on the FCPA can be found here: http://www.fcpa.us/
A party to a transaction seeking to know whether a proposed course of conduct would violate the FCPA can take advantage of the opinion procedure established by the statue. Within 30 days of receiving a description of a proposed course of conduct in writing, the Attorney General will provide the party with a written opinion on whether the proposed conduct would violate the FCPA. Not only do opinions provide the requesting party with a rebuttable presumption that the conduct does not violate the FCPA, but DOJ publishes past opinions which can provide guidance for other companies facing similar situations.