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GCCI outlines plan for 2014

Jan 31, 2014, 9:46 AM | Article By: Osman Kargbo

The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has disclosed to the media and the public its planned activities for 2014 through 2018.

The Chamber plans to chart a new way forward by building more partnerships with the public and private sectors, especially on the corridors of government, to pave a smooth way for economic operators and business development in the country.

“The Board has also considered a new way forward for our Chamber with a Strategic Plan 2014 – 2018. In the coming weeks we will use several forums to review this with members to ensure that we all contribute in charting the future,” GCCI President Muhammed Jagana said yesterday at a press conference held at the GCCI Secretariat on Bertil Harding Highway in Bijilo.

The GCCI has also adopted new Service Rules for the smooth running of the Secretariat, Mr Jagana said before veering into Trade Fair Gambia 2014 (TFG 2014), which the Chamber will be conducting from 1 to 16 March at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.

This year’s trade fair, on the theme “Inclusive Growth through Partnerships”,will attract international participants from such countries as Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, China, India and Pakistan.

Participants, who will be treated on a ‘first come first serve basis’, will fall under the following categories, sectors or industries:Agricultural Enterprises, Clothing Industry, Energy including Renewable Energy Industry, Manufacturing Industry, Public Enterprises Service Providers, Traditional Medicine, Banking and Financial Services, Construction Industry, Food Industry, Non-Governmental Associations, Science and Technology Innovations, and Tourism Industry.

“Allocation of stalls is ‘First come first serve basis’; therefore entrepreneurs, businesses and other institutions are urged to buy their stalls on time,” said Beatrice Prom, GCCI Public Relations Manager and member of the TFG committee.

In sharing with the media some of the activities of GCCI for the business community, GCCI Chief Executive Officer Alieu Secka said the Chamber’s Board has been quite active in policy matters and mapping the direction of the Chamber.

“Today the GCCI have to be transformational to stay relevant, as our business members and stakeholders are far more sophisticated than before,” he said. “Our world is much more open, likewise the competition even more fierce. The successful business or entrepreneurs is the one that recognises such dynamism, and the chamber has decided that it will work in some few areas that are pertinent for the businesses in The Gambia.”

CEO Secka also said the Chamber would intensify its effort at working with various sectors of importance to the growth and development of business and the country’s economy.

“Overall, a successful business context is important to everyone that lives in The Gambia whether we are directly engaged everyday for a living, professionally or as consumers,” he said, adding: “It is therefore an overriding objective of the GCCI that we cultivate the very best relations with particularly the executive arm of government, all DMAs [Departments, Ministries and Agencies], local government authorities, international agencies and civil societies.”

He also said they will articulate all matters that affect each sector of businesses and the country’s economy so that the role and responsibility of each person in The Gambia is utilized for their growth and for a spin-off of phenomenal return to national development.

“We have intensified our contacts with all relevant Ministries/Agencies, and with their support will continue to inform or meet and discuss all business-related matters so that we all speak with one voice for the benefit of our common stakeholder – the public at large,” he said.

He also highlighted more activities for 2014, saying these include research and partnership with other research institutions, sectoral consultative meetings, setting up enterprise development fund, employer representation with the Department of Labour and Social Dialogue Forum, Business Alternative Dispute Resolution, facilitating the ECOWAS Inter State Road Transit Scheme (ISRT), and establishment of Commodity Exchange Centre.

The GCCI CEO thanked audience including the media, with special appreciation to GIEPA, MOTIE, GTBoard, GAMWORKS and the banks for their collaboration cooperation with the Chamber.

Officials of the Chamber responded with salient answers to questions posed by the audience including media practitioners, as well as took note of vital comments and suggestions made to them.