Jun 11, 2009, 8:05 AM
In a bid to attract investment into the country, the Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA), in partnership with the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and Trade Blazers last Monday converged at the Sheraton Hotel for a day-long consultative business dialogue.
The Nigerian private sector members who were on a four-day investment mission to the country, were facilitated under the theme “Harnessing Business Opportunities in The Gambia”
Speaking at the ceremony, the president of GCCI, Bai Matarr Drammeh, revealed that the investment mission between their counterparts was aimed at providing opportunity for the Nigerian private sector to network with the Gambia Business community so as to build sustainable business relationship.
He added that the mission also aimed at providing opportunity for the private sector to explore the investment opportunities that exist in the country, particularly in the area of light manufacturing.
“In this investment mission, MAN, in partnership with Trade Blazers, has facilitated up to ten Nigerian manufactory companies from various areas such as foam manufacturing and the production of flour and flour-based products, to visit The Gambia,” said the GCCI boss.
He assured the delegates that the GCCI would continue to play its role in encouraging investment growth as well as promoting trade and partnerships between The Gambia business community and members of the private sectors around the world.
Naffie Barry, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment, said the mission came to reinforce the commitment of the two governments to encourage the private sector to serve as engine of growth and to concretize the policy of the African Union and ECOWAS to promote south-south integration through trade.
“There is no doubt that the development process of any country begins with the existence of a manufacturing base geared towards export and satisfaction of the local demands,” she said.
“As we witness a global economic crisis, developing countries face no other option but to partner among themselves so as to minimize the effect of the financial crisis,” PS Barry emphasized.
The presence of Nigerians in various sectors of the economy is a clear testimony of the confidence they have in The Gambia, she says, adding that the same confidence will be entertained by the mission that will witness their business extend to The Gambia.
She finally commended GIEPA, the GCCI, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and Trade Blazers for facilitating the mission.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Fatou Mbenga Jollow, CEO of GIEPA, Muhamed Sillah, president of the Association of Gambian Manufacturers.
At the end of the forum a press conference was held followed by a business to business meeting between members of the two private sectors.