The Liberian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, accredited near Washington D.C., H. E. Lois Lewis Brutus and members of her staff paid a working visit at the Liberian Consulate in Minnesota on Friday, October 26, 2018. Ambassador Brutus visit at the Consulate was to meet with Hon. George and Consulate staff and gathered firsthand the needs of the Liberian Community in Minnesota as it relates to processing of documents from Minnesota.
The Liberian Ambassador also led a high-power delegation from the Liberian Embassy and Consulate to meet with the Minnesota Commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) who is also responsible for the Minnesota Trade Office, Commissioner Shawntera Hardy and members of her executive staff.
The Liberian Ambassador H. E. Brutus and Commissioner Hardy discussed the building of trade relationship to include but not limited to Agriculture, Technology, Education, Healthcare and Transportation. Minnesota does business with 203 countries around the world.
Ambassador Brutus informed the Commissioner that Liberia is ready for business and that the establishment of a Consulate in Minnesota is a clear manifestation of the Liberian government recognition of the need to build relationship with Minnesota and the Midwest. “We recognize the growing Liberian population in Minnesota and the impact it has on trade and economic development” the Ambassador ended. The meeting was preceded by a luncheon hosted by the Minnesota Trade Office.
For her part, Commissioner Hardy thanked the Liberian Ambassador and her delegation for visiting with the Minnesota Trade Office and assured her that Minnesota is ready to build trade relationship with Liberia.
Commissioner Hard and Ambassador Brutus exchanged gifts. Hon. George also exchanged gifts with Commissioner Hardy and Gabrielle Gerbaud, Executive Director of Minnesota Trade Office.
Those at the meeting (DEED):
- Shawntera Hardy – Commissioner, Department of Employment and Economic Development
- Kolu Wilson – Assistant Commissioner, Department of Employment and Economic Development
- Gabrielle Gerbaud – Executive Director of Minnesota Trade Office and Chief Protocol Officer for the state of Minnesota
- Laurence Reszetar – Director of Foreign Direct Investment
- Abdiwahab Mohamed – Regional Trade Manager for Africa, Middle East and India
- E. Lois Lewis Brutus – Liberian Ambassador to the United States
- Sophia Mawlue – Minister Counselor – Liberian Embassy, Washington DC
- Jackson K. George, Jr. – Honorary Consul General – The Republic of Liberia
- Josiah Domah – First Secretary – Liberian Embassy, Washington DC
- Vickie Ward – Diaspora Coordinator/Special Assistant Ambassador Office, Liberian Embassy, Washington DC
- Frank Ngafua – Trade & Investment Director – Liberian Consulate, MN
- Rebecca Dennis – Executive Assistant – Liberian Consulate, MN
The Minnesota Trade Office provides export assistance to Minnesota’s manufacturers and service providers. Programs and services focus primarily on assisting small and medium-sized companies.
The MTO also serves as Minnesota’s Office of Protocol, ensuring that the state’s interactions with foreign delegations and dignitaries are conducted with appropriate diplomatic etiquette and cultural practices. The MTO is also the state’s liaison to the local diplomatic community – the Minnesota Consular Corps.