Apr 15, 2009, 6:52 AM
The Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency, and the Gambia Chambers of Commerce and industry, in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment, on 6 May hosted an Indian Trade Mission with Indian Business people.
Held at the Atlantic Hotel in Banjul, the forum attracted participants from various sectors in the country.
In her introductory remark, the Chief Executive Officer of GIEPA, Fatou Jallow, expressed delight on behalf of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Regional Integration and The Gambia Chamber of Commerce, to welcome all the participants to the Gambia India Business Forum.
She also stated that the mission was held to further strengthen the excellent bilateral ties that exist between the countries against the backdrop of the recent India -Africa conclave held in New Delhi in March this year, attended by a high level delegation from The Gambia.
She noted that the importance of the mission and forum could not be over-emphasised by virtue of the companies that took part in the forum. Some of the business lines, she said are Agro-industries, energy, medical supplies, youth development, incubation centres, waste management.
These represented priority sectors for this country that need private sector participation not only in terms of financial investment but also in transfer of technology and skills development, she says.
"The focus of this initiative is the private sector, which our government relies on to spearhead the economic development aspiration of our respective countries," he said.
She also told the delegation from India: "Our private sector is ready to partner with them and that GIEPA and GCCI will be at your services to provide the necessary support. We are optimistic that this service will strengthen business links between The Gambia and India and we encourage the private sector to make optimal use of this opportunity."
The CEO also used the opportunity to register her appreciation on behalf of the Government of the Gambia and business community of the immense contribution of the Gambian ambassador to India Dembo Badjie who is the main driver of the initiative.
In his remarks on the occasion, the minister of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment, Hon. Abdou Kolley, says the trade mission provides an opportunity for both the Indian businesses and their Gambian counterpart to take advantage of the investment opportunity offered through the excellent bilateral ties between India and The Gambia.
The mission, he said, is therefore not only an opportunity for Indian companies and businesses to explore firsthand what business opportunity may exist in The Gambia but also gives Gambian entrepreneurs the opportunity to interact and network with their Indian counterparts.
"I therefore encourage the participants to seize this opportunity to discover the investment opportunity. In various sectors in The Gambia, which is accompanied by attractive investment incentives, Hon. Kolley added that the Gambia economy has been stable for the last years due to the Government's continued commitment to the implementation of prudent macroeconomic policies backed by policies that have improved the competition of The Gambia businesses environment.
Also speaking at the forum, the president of the GCCI, Bai Matarr Drammeh, said: “It is important to first recognise the significant milestones that the Government of The Gambia has achieved in creating an enabling environment for the private sector through policy creation and more importantly reviewing and amending of policies as signed by the economic situation."
For his part, the Gambia Ambassador to India, Dembo Badjie, said: "This mission was put together on the initiative of the minister of Trade and Industry during the last meeting held in Delhi."
He revealed that 16 companies were confirmed to participate in the mission/forum, but due to flight connection problem others could not make it to The Gambia.