Economic operators in The Gambia have been urged to form mergers to maintain bigger companies and corporations if they are to contribute meaningfully to the economic development of the country.
|Abdou Kolley, minister of finance and economic affairs|
Finance and economic affairs minister Abdou Kolley has said small individual enterprises cannot make substantial progress in the development of the country.
“The best way for the private sector to make an impact in this country is that they have to be willing and ready to open, join together and form larger corporations,” Minister Kolley said.
In this way, even government’s support to them will be easier because it is easy to support a few established companies than thousands of individual small companies, he says.
“So it is better for them to really come together and work with government in order to help us achieve the objective set for this country,” he added, saying: “There are great potentials for growth for the private sector, but this cannot be tapped by individual companies simply because they may not have the adequate financing to expand into the untapped areas but if they form conglomerates they will have solid capital for significant undertakings.”
He went on: “When we say accelerated growth and employment, how do we accelerate growth; the government alone cannot accelerate growth, we need the private sector but certainly small companies cannot make any meaningful impact in this drive.”
The private sector, the finance minister noted, is the driver of growth, which is why the government has been calling on them to work in collaboration with government so that together the country can move forward.
However, he acknowledges that the government has a role to play to spur the active participation of the private sector in the country’s economic development, by creating an environment conducive for the private sector to thrive.
“The government certainly has a role to encourage the private sector by working on the business climate, and the government has and will continue to do this,” Hon. Kolley said. “The government has spent a lot in the area of infrastructure, it has spent a lot in the area of energy to ensure that we have available and reliable electricity supply and we have also worked on taxation to ensure that we reduce tax rates, streamline the tax processes and ensure that the private sector operates freely.”
With all this, if the private sector continues to operate on their individual basis it will be difficult to fully utilize the potentials in the country, he reiterated, saying the private sector should identify projects they can work on their own or projects through which they can work together with the government.
Certainly, he said, there is need for a framework that can guide people so that anyone who wants to come onboard the business investment and commerce train knows the process and procedure.
The government in cognizance of the importance of this business guide has been working with the World Bank Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility to help the country develop a legal framework for Public Private Partnership, the finance minister said.