Having pulled himself by the bootstraps to become one of Africa’s most successful businessmen, Angolan Business mogul, Bartolommeu Domingos has reached a decision to invest in Liberia as a demonstration of his trust in the West African nation’s safety and conducive investment climate.
On his second investment visit to Liberia, the BD Group owner said years ago, Liberia was known for the civil war. That scared people including potential investors from coming to the country.
“Even now when I tell someone let’s go to Liberia, they would wonder why I am coming to Liberia. I would tell them Liberia is a peaceful country with a warm people. Even my son who came with me has expressed his love for the friendly nature of the people,” he told an investment dinner held in his honor in Monrovia on the weekend of January 15, 2022.
“I would love to stay here. This is the first I am traveling with one of my sons. I am a father eight children: six boys and two girls. This is the third boy. I have trust in this country,” Mr. Domingos stated.
The Angolan Business mogul emphasized that he brought his third son as a testament of his trust in the safety of Liberia -the first African country he had traveled to.
He noted that BD Group has 22 companies with assets estimated at around USD 400 million, in various sectors: Civil Aviation, Industry, Civil Construction, Hospitality and Tourism, Real Estate, IT, Transport, Logistics, Private Security, agriculture, mining and Trading.
He averred “I started business when I was 21 years old in 1988. In 1992, I was the youngest to own the biggest business in my country, Angola. We want to share our experience with our partners here including the banks and business community. We can bring in more business men. I don’t want to do this alone,” Mr. Bartolomeu Dias Domingos pointed out.
The Angolan investor indicated that he cannot respond to Liberia’s investment needs.
He is optimistic that some investors would use his company’s presence here as a guarantee for trust. Someone could say “if Dias is investing in Liberia then I can do the same. Mayor Koijee and the City Government of Liberia, we are here to support you and I will support you.”
Speaking earlier, the President of International Bank (IB Liberia) Henry Saamoi informed the audience of investors that the climate for investment in this country is right. The banks are here to support any investors.
According to him, loan portfolio of all the nine banks combined, is currently in excess of US$300 million that is out there and it is growing.
Mr. Saamoi disclosed that the banks are here and ready to work with any investor. “There is no law that restricts the repatriation of capital,” he said.
So, the International Bank President intimated that if an investor comes in with a US$100 million investment and after three years he or she wants to repatriate that capital, there is no restriction. There are no capital controls in this market. This is a very flexible market and it is a US dollars driven market.
Mr. Saamoi reminded the Angolan investor that one of sectors that have not picked up yet is the manufacturing sector even though that sector is very key to growing this economy because it adds so much value and creates jobs for the young people.
For his part, Mayor Jefferson Tamba Koijee said Mr. Bartolomeu Dias Domingos is not one of those investors who will put you on the plane and take you to expensive hotels in Europe or America. He is a man of action. He came with a technical team to begin the ball rolling.
In addition to your intention, Mayor Koijee mentioned “we thought it was good to have an interactive session with you as a compass of proficiency and integrity. We want you to see Monrovia and Liberia at large as a home. We want you to become an ambassador by your presence here to bring your friends to invest as well.”