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2009 Trade Fair Kicks-Off

Nov 16, 2009, 12:14 PM | Article By: Sainey MK Marenah

The 2009 international trade fair, organised by the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry kicked-off last Saturday at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.

Officially opened the Vice President, Dr. Aja Isatou Njie Saidy, the bi-annual event attracts over 200 national and foreign companies to expose and explore Gambian business, and to offer the Gambian private sector the opportunities to be able to show case their products and services.

In her keynote address, VP Njie Saidy said that the interest manifested by the exhibiting companies in The Gambia trade fair, despite the economic downturn the world is going through, is a testimony to the confidence that these companies have in the county's economy, for the opportunity it provides for the private sector to realise its potentials.

"Above all, it is a testimony to the sound and prudent macroeconomic policies anchored on the promotion of the private sector as the engine of growth, which my government has adopted since 1994," he said.

"I am comforted that we are on the right path, given the leading position in Africa that The Gambia as small as it is, continues to hold on international business rankings such as the World Economic Forum and the World Bank's Doing Business Survey," she said.

But she was quick to add that "these achievements should not by any means make us complacent," noting that they are rather a call for us to work harder because we have a lot more to do to take The Gambia where we want it to be in a shorter period of time.

She added, she hopes that the presence of industralised nations like Taiwan will translate into mutually beneficial business relation with their Gambian companies or other West African companies.

She urged the participants to work hard to increase international participation in the next edition to come because interaction between local and international companies is one of the best ways to promote The Gambia as an investment destination and to forged between local and foreign companies.

Speaking earlier was Mr. Bai Mattar Drammeh, President of the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who told the gathering that, The Gambia Trade Fair has now gained international recognition as exhibitors from the sub region do express keen interest to take part actively in this trade show, GCCI president however noted that due to space constraints they are forced to limit the number of international exhibitors that they can accommodate in other to allow more participants from the private sector.

He said the participation of foreign exhibitors is so crucial to the success of the trade fair adding that they shall endeavour to find the space to accommodate more of them in the years to come.

He used the gathering to appeal to the sub regional authorities such as ECOWAS commission to accelerate the infrastructure developments in the community so as unleash the enormous potential of the region.

Other speakers include the Minister of Trade Industry and Employment, who was represented by Ousman Sonko, the Interior Minister and Mam Cherno Jallow the Chief Executive Officer of GCCI.