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Between Taipei and Banjul

Apr 21, 2009, 5:15 AM

The trade and investment opportunity seminar held recently in Taipei, Taiwan, is a step meant to consolidate and expand the existing bilateral relations between Taiwan and The Gambia. Appropriately, the Gambian delegation was led by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Employment, Mr Abdou Colley. He gave a good account of himself with his articulate presentation of The Gambia's trade flow. Taiwan has done a lot for The Gambia in all spheres of our national life, but much more needs to be done in the area of trade and investment.

Taiwan is a worthy trade and investment partner. It has appreciable deposits of coal, natural gas, limestone, marble and asbestos. Her agricultural products include rice, corn, vegetables, fruit, tea; pigs, poultry, beef, milk, and fish. In terms of industries, it is a recognized force in electronics, petroleum refining, chemicals, textiles, iron and steel, machinery, cement and food processing.

Her export partners include some of the world's heavyweights such as China, Hong Kong, USA, Japan, Singapore and South Korea. She also has a strong export relationship with Germany, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, China, Japan, and USA.

So, seeking to take The Gambia's bilateral cooperation with Taiwan to the next level is a welcome development. Trade and investment between both countries stand to be mutually beneficial. The private sectors of both countries have many lucrative sectors they can tap. The agricultural sector of The Gambia for instance is an investor's dream. Taiwanese businesspeople would gain by venturing into food processing in The Gambia.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Employment should build on the momentum of the trade and investment seminar in Taipei to promote The Gambia like never before in Taiwan. The Taiwanese business community should be incessantly wooed to invest in The Gambia, which is sufficiently placed to guarantee immense returns for good investment. The energy sector has improved remarkably; there is a deepening pool of skilled manpower due to the proliferation of professional and vocational institutions; and the justice system is comparatively better than what obtains in other parts of the region. The achievements that have been made in terms of infrastructural development are visible enough. So the Taiwanese have a lot to gain by investing in The Gambia.

"No nation was ever ruined by trade".

Benjamin Franklin