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President Mohamed reaches out to global financial agencies

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Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (center), flanked by British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon (left) and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, addresses a national security session during the London Somalia Conference at Lancaster House in London on May 11, 2017. International leaders gathered to thrash out agreements with Somalia aimed at stabilising the country. PHOTO | JUSTIN TALLIS | AFP

Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has appealed to foreign banks to ease restrictions on the country’s financial institutions to help it rebuild its economy.

He said financial institutions in the country are struggling to access their external counterparts due to barriers set by the international community, despite the strides the country has made in ensuring stability.

President Abdullahi, while giving the opening speech during the London Somalia Conference 2017 on Thursday, said his administration will take measurable steps to unlock the nation’s potential, which will be done by removing barriers that discourage investment, and promoting small and middle enterprises.

“When it comes to economic development, the greatest asset we have is the entrepreneurial spirit of my people.

“The money transfer businesses, which send a combined amount of about $2 billion (Sh412bn) a year to Somalia, are struggling to access banks here in the United Kingdom and in the United States of America due to the severe restrictions placed on them,” he explained.

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Additionally, he commended the resilience of his people for persevering with tough times such as drought and war, among others, and money transfer agencies such as Dahabshiil – which operates in Europe, America and in the Middle East – that makes it possible for diaspora citizens to send money to their families back home.

Thus, he asked the global community to help rebuild the economy of the country by facilitating access to financial institutions.

“Time has come to facilitate access for our financial institutions to work with your banks.

“A continuation of the current policy will undoubtedly deprive crucial access for our banks, and, as a consequence, will limit employment opportunities in the financial sector,” he said at the forum attended by British Prime Minister Theresa May, UN Secretary General António Guterres, AU chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat and other leaders.

He said his vision hinges on building vital state institutions, promoting security and championing reforms.

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DP World says Djibouti incident could hurt Africa investment

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DUBAI (Reuters) – Port operator DP World said on Thursday that Djibouti’s decision to seize control of a terminal project could hurt African efforts to attract investment.

The Dubai state-owned port operator is facing twin political challenges in Africa.

Djibouti abruptly ended its contract to run the Doraleh Container Terminal last month and Somalia’s parliament voted this week to ban the company.

DP World has called the Djibouti move illegal and said it had begun proceedings before the London Court of International Arbitration, which last year cleared the company of all charges of misconduct over the concession.

“Africa needs infrastructure investments and if countries can change their law [to take assets then this] is going to basically make it more difficult to attract investment,” Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem told a news conference in Dubai.
DP World reported 14.9 percent rise in 2017 profit to $1.18 billion profit and said that it would invest $1.4 billion across its global portfolio including in Berbera in Somaliland. [L8N1QX0F2]

It is developing a port in Berbera in partnership with the governments of Somaliland and Ethiopia. It is also developing a greenfield free trade zone in the breakaway region.

Bin Sulayem said he was not concerned by the vote in Somalia’s parliament to ban DP World from the country, which the parliament said nullified their Somaliland contract.

It is unclear how Somalia’s federal government could enforce the ban given Somaliland’s semi-autonomous status.

Europe, the Middle East and Africa accounted for about 42 percent of the cargo DP World handled in 2017.

Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; editing by Jason Neely

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INTERVIEW: Somalia gears towards improving its monetary policies

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CGTN — Somalia’s central government imposed a five percent sales tax this month as part of efforts to win billions of dollars in international debt relief. This was followed by protests in Mogadishu’s main market by traders opposed to the tax. CGTN’s Abdulaziz Billow sat down with the country’s minister of finance who shed more light on the country’s monetary policies

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Somalia Tax Argument From Both Sides: Bakara Traders vs The Government

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Somalia’s busiest and largest open-air market in Mogadishu has been closed for the past two days.

Business owners in Bakara market are protesting over a five percent tax imposed by the government, in an effort to pay back some of its international debt.

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