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Sierra Leone Business: Holland & Sierra Leone to grow businesses together

Holland and Sierra Leone are partnering to grow local businesses together so as to promote economic growth and sustainable development through private sector development.
Speaking during a business networking session held at the Cube Restaurant Government wharf in Freetown.
The Ambassador of the Netherlands to Ghana accredited to Sierra Leone Ron Strikker said his Government is committed and determined to promote the private sector of Sierra Leone as part of their post ebola economic recovery package.
He said companies in Holland are willing to work with Sierra Leonean businesses on joint venture or partnership to expedite economic recovery.
Rosalind Boschloo PSD Coach for Tanzania, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia said they are in the country to Promote Dutch Sierra Leonean businesses to grow by focusing on knowledge sharing, public private partnership financing and creating enabling business environment.
She further explained about a fund supporting public-private-partnerships dealing with water related issues,  efficient and sustainable water use, particularly within agriculture, and Safe deltas and improved river management.
She added that they also provide Subsidy for demo and feasibility studies for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) by stimulating access to finance to support Dutch SME’s in exporting to and investing in Sierra Leone or other countries.
She stated that the drive offers the authorities a source of financing for public infrastructure projects with Contract value between 5 and 60 million Euros but noted that applicants need to comply and deliver according to international standards.
She added that currently the Dutch Government in collaboration with the African Development Bank have initiated 700.000 euro contribution to develop a masterplan and investment studies on greater Freetown Water Supply.
She added that “we support entrepreneurs who have been in business for at least 2 years that employ 10 or more employees but cannot afford commercial consultancy  to grow their business.
She noted that entrepeneurs pay for hotel, meals and local transport of the expert, for an average period of 2 weeks and PUM pays for the rest.
The Marketing Manager of Sierra Leone Produce Marketing Company Calvin Hans-Kawa during a powerpoint presentation explained that SLPMC is a Public limited liability company and the Company has an equity share of 51% Government and 49% Public.
He said SLPMC focus primarily on buying of quality agricultural produce for local and export market” Agricultural produce (Cocoa & Coffee) account for 22% of the total export revenue for the past ten years.
He added that Palm Oil is widely used as an addition to our local food and also for soap production and domestic consumption of Palm Oil is estimated to be 66,000mt in 2016 showing a sharp increase in consumption from over the years.
The Minister of Trade and Industry Alieu Pat Sowe commended the Ambassador for his visit and encouraged Sierra Leonean businesses to partner with Dutch investors to promote the private sector in Sierra Leone.
The business networking session was chaired by Shiaka Kawa from the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency and facilitated by the Accra Embassy PSD support and Orange trade guide representative Binta Jalloh.
Several local businesses expressed interest in partnering with Holland companies to do business and grow together whilst Pakai Kamara Chief Executive Officer of Sierra Akker, one of the benificiaries  of Holland support gave testimonies about opportunities available.
By Saidu Bah
Twitter @mohamedsaidubah
Monday May 08, 2017.

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