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Gambia’s economy projected to grow by 5.2% in 2016, Trade PS Barry

Nov 25, 2015, 9:36 AM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment, Naffie Barry, has said The Gambia’s economy is projected to grow by 5.2 per cent in 2016.

PS Barry disclosed this at The Gambia-Morocco business and investment forum, held yesterday at the Ocean Bay Hotel in Cape Point.

The forum was organised by the Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA) in collaboration with the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, led by the Gambia’s Ambassador to Morocco.

Investors at the forum looked at the ways and means of exploring the business and investment opportunities in various sectors of the country, such as agriculture (agro-processing and poultry), energy, fisheries, manufacturing (textile and pharmaceutical), tourism, financial services, infrastructure, construction and housing.

According to PS Barry, The Gambia is an investor’s paradise to do business in all sectors, because the leadership of the country had laid down development plans and strategies, such as the Vision 2020 and PAGE with a strong political commitment to achieve growth and development in the country.

The Kingdom of Morocco has strong bilateral and cultural ties with The Gambia dating back to history, she said.

Over the years, trade inflows and outflows between the two countries “have increased greatly, which was partly premised on the friendly relationship between the two leaders,” she added.

She applauded the efforts taken by both nations in bringing the two countries closer, saying the forum would open up more opportunities in different areas of interest.

“The Gambia though small in population is an ideal place for Moroccan business to locate and access the vast West African market,” Mrs Barry said.

“It was important to note that The Gambia is a nation renowned for peace, security and the rule of law,” she added, saying these national milieus are what every investor requires to have a secured and prosperous return on investment.

“The strategic position of The Gambia as the hub of West Africa provides a strong platform to explore the huge market potential of over 300 million consumers within the West African sub-region, where a return on investment is one of the highest in the world.”

PS Barry stressed that GIEPA and the GCCI have since signed different agreements committed to attracting businesses to The Gambia, and to take advantage of the numerous business opportunities in the country.

She thanked the Association of Exporters of Morocco for leading and participating in the forum.

The Gambia’s Ambassador to Morocco, Kebba Touray, said in the planning of the inward mission, they closely worked with GIEPA, whom he commended for the excellent organisation and the GCP for providing the funding.

Ambassador Touray disclosed that as part of the process, a Gambian business delegation would be invited to Morocco early next year to facilitate decisions leading to business ventures in the respective countries.

He commended the Moroccan business delegation for visiting the country to explore investment opportunities in various sectors of the Gambian economy.