May 4, 2011, 2:22 PM
The economy is generally very slow at the moment. According to surveys carried out by some of our reporters many businesspeople, who spoke on condition of anonymity, are complaining that sales are very slow, as is the economy in general. Traders are complaining that the market is very quiet. It is very rare now for people in the sub region to come to The Gambia to buy goods. The re-export trade is virtually dead because of the high duties on imported goods. Senegal and Mauritania are reducing their tariffs and duties on imported goods. This is why traders are going for them. The Gambia used to be known as the supermarket of the sub region. Duties and tariffs should be reviewed so that our goods become cheaper and more competitive in the sub region. We used to see a lot of Senegalese and Guinean trucks loading goods in Banjul to go to Senegal or other destinations in the sub region but now they are few and far between. The authorities should reduce taxes and duties to make business lively again.
With regard to newspapers in The Gambia the authorities should minimising sales taxes and taxes on newsprint and other print materials. This will revitalise the media organs to help them continue their vital role in the socio-economic development of our great nation. Also since newspapers in this country educate people they should be exempted from the education levy. Government should enter into dialogue with the publishers of newspapers to see how best this situation can be moved forward.
"But in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."