A vibrant private sector is critical to economic growth, income generation, employment and ultimately poverty reduction. A competitive, fast growing and liberal economy led by the private sector is envisaged. The private sector can substantially assist in building the capacity and capability of Sierra Leoneans.
Overall, the Sierra Leonean private sector is characterised by foreign dominance, high cost and risk of doing business, limited access to finance, poor infrastructure, weak legal and regulatory frameworks, poor macroeconomic environment and corruption.
The problematic factors for doing business identified by the Global Competitiveness Report are accessing financing, corruption, inadequate supply of infrastructure, inflation, tax rates and foreign currency regulations, crime and theft, poor work ethic in national labour force, inadequately educated labour force, poor public health, inefficient government bureaucracy, insufficient capacity to innovate, policy instability, tax regulations, restrictive labour regulations and government instability.
Evidence from both the World Bank Doing Business Report and the Global Competitiveness Report, Sierra Leone is relatively uncompetitive. According to World Bank Doing Business Report, Sierra Leone dropped in ranking for ease of doing business from 140 out of 185 in 2012 to 145 out of 190 in 2016 and further to 148 out of 190 in 2017.
The Global Competitiveness Report ranked Sierra Leone 133 out of 134 countries surveyed in 2012. Its ranking did not change substantially. It was ranked 132 out of 138 countries surveyed.
In the New Direction, the SLPP policies and actions in the private sector will include:
(i) increasing access to finance
(ii) reducing the cost and risk of doing business through establishment of one-stop-shop for all business registration, among others
(ii) promoting local entrepreneurship
(iii) capacity building and
(iv) developing the Infrastructure
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