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Assembly ratifies agreement to boost Gambia-Morocco investment flows

Jun 22, 2011, 1:47 PM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

As part of its second meeting in the 2011 legislative year, deputies at the National Assembly on Monday considered and ratified a motion on the agreement on reciprocal protection and promotion of investment between the governments of The Gambia and the Kingdom of Morocco.

Tabled before deputies by the minister of Trade, Employment and Regional Integration, Abdou Kolley, the agreement among others seeks to encourage investment flows from Morocco to The Gambia.

In moving the motion, Trade minister Kolley said the agreement was signed in February 2006 during the official visit of His Majesty King Muhammed V of Morocco to The Gambia as part of efforts to strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries.

He told deputies that the agreement is aimed at intensifying economic cooperation for the mutual benefit of both countries, and will create favourable conditions for investments made by investors of either contracting parties in both countries.

According to him, the implementation of this agreement will create an enabling environment for the private sectors of both countries to participate in economic activities of each other’s country, stimulate business initiatives and increase prosperity in both countries.

“Reciprocal protection and promotion of investment agreements have been regarded and used by many developing countries as instrument to attract foreign investors,” he said, adding that under this agreement, host countries assume broad obligations for the protection of foreign investments, particularly against expropriation and strife.

Kolley further stated that they also include provisions for the protection of foreign investors on the basis of most favoured countries and national treatment principles and, in addition, provides a basis for the protection of intellectual property rights.

The agreement, he added, consists of 13 articles and outlines each party’s responsibilities and the rationale behind such bilateral cooperation, and that it shall enter into force 30 days after contracting parties will have notified each other in writing that their respective constitutional requirements for the entry into force of the agreement have been fulfilled.

 “The agreement shall thereafter remain in force for an essential period of 10 years and then continue to remain in force for a successive period of 10 years unless terminated by written notification of either party at least six months before the end of the current period,” Kolley stated.

He told deputies that, as at now, The Gambia has a sizeable community of Moroccan private operators, especially in the hospitality business. He expressed hope that with the coming into effect of this agreement, Moroccan investors will be given added confidence in The Gambia’s private sector, and would be encouraged to establish more businesses in The Gambia.

He called on the Gambian private sector to take advantage of the huge benefits that such an agreement offers by forging links and beneficial partnerships with their Moroccan counterparts.

Also on the same day, deputies considered and ratified a motion on the revitalization of the African Parliamentarians’ Network Against Corruption (APNAC) Gambia Chapter.