According to an Executive Mansion release, the management of the two companies met with Liberian leader, President Ellen Johnson, at her Foreign Ministry office on Friday.
The president and the two management teams discussed means of mitigating the impact of the current global meltdown in the prices of both natural rubber and iron ore on the global market.
Both companies assured the Liberian President of their commitment to maintain their operations in Liberia despite the global crisis, and advanced a number of proposals that will enhance their plans to remain operational.
They expressed the hope that the current global situation will improve and pointed out that they cannot abandon Liberia during such difficult time.
President Sirleaf thanked the two delegations for committing themselves to remain operational in Liberia despite the current global crisis and assured them of government’s commitment to working with them to achieve same.
She instructed relevant sector agencies and ministries to sit with the two companies and discuss the measures being proposed to find a way forward.
The Liberian President also reminded the two companies that government is also experiencing its own share of the impact of the global meltdown in the prices of iron ore and rubber and emphasized that moving towards value addition is one sure way of enhancing the impact of their operations in Liberia.
She indicated that getting involved with value addition will help boost the economy and help create the needed jobs for the Liberian people.
The Arcelor Mittal-Liberia delegation included the executive vice president and head of iron ore, Kleber Silva; general manager, Joseph Matthews; and Michel Prive; while the Firestone-Liberia delegation comprised the president and managing director, Edmundo L. Garcia; director, administrative operations technology, manufacturing and procurement, Don Darden; and Attorney Gerald Padmore.