Amidst World Bank’s Gloomy Economy Warning: ArcelorMittal’s Phase II Expansion Could Help Liberia

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On January 3, 2023, the World Bank warned that the world’s economy could tip into recession in 2023.

   In its global economic outlook, the World Bank slashed 2023 growth forecasts on Tuesday of last week to levels teetering on the brink of recession.

   The downturn is for many countries as the impact of central bank rate hikes intensifies, Russia’s war in Ukraine continues, and the world’s major economic engines sputter.

   According to the World Bank, it expected “global GDP growth of 1.7% in 2023, the slowest pace outside the 2009 and 2020 recessions since 1993”.

   The bank had previously said in its Global Economic Prospects report in June 2022 forecast that 2023 global growth would be 3.0%.

   It forecasts global growth in 2024 to pick up to 2.7% — below the 2.9% estimate for 2022, and said average growth for the 2020-2024 period would be under 2% — the slowest five-year pace since 1960.

   The bank also reported slowdowns in advanced economies, including sharp cuts to its forecast to 0.5% for the United States and flat GDP for the euro zone could foreshadow a new global recession less than three years after the last one.

   For Least Developed Countries (LDC) like Liberia where growth rate has never been uniformed, this global forecast projection could have serious consequences on economic growth.

   While economists around the world are head-scratching solutions, for Liberia, it is companies like ArcelorMittal that have the potential and readiness to investing more in Liberia and calm down such projected economic storm.

   Already, ArcelorMittal’s Phase II expansion is creating about 3,000 jobs in its construction phase alone.

   With Liberians expected to occupy many of these roles, employment feat of such could help spur grow and keep the county in a stable condition.

   Already, economic growth in Liberia has been projected to accelerate to 4.7% in 2023. But this projection is not absolute. It is supported by improved business conditions and rising foreign investment in the mineral sector.

   The 4.7% growth rate is largely projected on the firm commitment of companies like ArcelorMittal which have planned to expand investment in Liberia by an additional US$1.2 billion.

  With the construction of an iron ore plant on-going in Nimba and additional US$200 million to expand the capacity of the rail infrastructure and strengthening the cargo handling capacity of the port of Buchanan, it is simple ideal for the government and people of Liberia to support the full actualization of Phase II Expansion.

   At current, this is the only foreign direct investment that has the potential to create new and better paying jobs.

    The evidence suggests that the positively employment capacity of ArcelorMittal best positions the company as an ideal foreign business capable of helping Liberia withstand and substantial public economic crises.

   ArcelorMittal is not just Liberia’s leading private sector investment, but the biggest taxpayer and the company with the highest number of interventions in health, education and infrastructure.

   And, interestingly, AML has been doing this since 2005 and even in some of the most challenging days the nation has seen.

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