Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency has made bare investment potentials in the country to Nigerian investors who are currently in The Gambia to explore investment opportunities which exist in the country, particularly in the area of light manufacturing.
A delegation from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) are on a four day investment mission in The Gambia which is geared towards providing opportunity for Nigerian private sector operators to network with The Gambian business community and build sustainable business relationships.
Pic: Naffie Barry, P.S. Min. of Trade and Fatou Jallow, CEO of GIEPA
Ben Roberts, director of business and export development department of GIEPA told the Nigerian investors that The Gambia has many unexploited investment opportunities especially in the area of agriculture, fisheries, energy, manufacturing, mining and exploration, transportation, and warehousing.
Mr Roberts was speaking at a day-long forum organized by GIEPA in collaboration with Gambia Chambers of Commerce and Industry under the theme “harnessing business opportunities in The Gambia”.
He said the investors should invest in The Gambia because the country is a liberal economy, it is closed to many major international markets, and the government offers attractive investment incentives.
Investment incentives offer by the government includes waiver on corporate tax for 5 to 10 years, depending on area of investment, and waiver on import tax for inputs and capital equipments.
Ambrose Orunche, leader of the Nigerian delegation, said the mere fact that they came to the Gambia to explore potential areas to invest in means they is ready to do business in the country
The chief executive officer of GIEPA, Fatou Jallow, explained that the Nigerian delegation are in The Gambia is as a result of an initiative of their predecessor, Gambia Investment promotion and Free Zone Agency (GIPFZA), which phased out in 2010. She said GIPFZA targets Nigeria as a source of Foreign Direct Investment for The Gambia.
“We believe that it is still important to pursue the initiative not only to attract investments but also to promote trade as a tool towards regional integration and as a means to enhance business links between our two countries,” she said.
Trade between Gambia and Nigeria has been decreasing since 2007.
The Gambia and Nigeria has always enjoyed excellent bilateral relationships particularly at the political, social and economic levels and significant growth has been registered in terms of business and investment particularly in financial sector. The country in recent years has witnessed an influx of banks from Nigeria.
Bai Matarr Drammeh, the president of Gambia Chambers of Commerce and Industry noted that the government of The Gambia has achieved significant milestones in creating an enabling environment for the private sector through the creation of sound policies..
He said the Chambers will also continue to plays its role of encouraging investment growth, and promoting trade and partnership between the Gambia business community and members of the private sector around the world, particularly within the sub-region.
Sarata Conateh, officer-in-charge of the Chambers, said the interaction between Nigerian private sector operators and their counterparts in The Gambia has provided a unique opportunity at the doorsteps of members of both private sectors to interact and draw concrete plans for partnerships and business ventures.
Naffie Barry, permanent secretary ministry trade, industry and regional integration, said the mission comes to reinforce the commitment of the two governments to encourage the private sector as the engine of growth and to concretize the policy of the African Union and ECOWAS to promote South-South integration through trade.
He assured the Nigerian investors of Gambia government’s support.