Liberia is happy to see the friendly relationship with China growing stronger, Liberia's President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has said.
Speaking to Xinhua in an exclusive interview in Monrovia, the West African nation's capital city, the Liberian president said her country cherishes its friendship with China and that China's long-term support has benefited Liberia a lot.
"We have a very strong relationship. China has work closely with us. We have worked with the three Chinese ambassadors since we came to office. We have gone through their programs. They are not only investing in Liberia, they are doing a lot of road construction which the world bank is financing," the Liberian president said on Thursday.
"We will continue to have strong bilateral programs with China. They help in promoting our health sector, in fact the most modern hospital in the country and region is a China financed hospital and our new university; the structure we have there, is the help of China's support. They are in the process now to start a major expansions to our vocational training center, so their support have been very pleased to us, the partnership is strong, the relationship is excellent," she said.
"Liberians will never forget the friendship of Chinese peace- keeping soldiers, "she said.
The Liberian leader welcomed more Chinese investors to start business in her country, saying that the government has improved the judicial system and putting more incentive system to attract investment.
She added that her government have been able to realize some foreign investment over the years.
"We have got new laws that guide our sectors, our public procurement laws, revenue code," she told Xinhua.
"If there is one area where we need to do more, is in the area of infrastructural, such as power particular, road, port that will enable us to insist and add value to our natural resources. We are also looking at agriculture and mining. We would be focusing on this in the next few years," she said.
President Johnson Sirleaf however said too much and prolonged emphasis on aid could be destructive for the country as it may create a habit of dependency.
"In 10 years or so we hope we no longer depend on official development assistance, those are the target included in our program for transformation agenda and we will continue to work toward the achievement of those goals," she stressed.
"As our investment may choose and operations begins to succeed, Liberia should be experiencing double digit growth. Right now the growth is on the average of about 7 percent over the past several years, but we should be double digit. We should be able to respond to the mobility of our people, road construction network; we should have over 50 percent of our people enjoying power supply, water, access to education," she said.