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July 22nd Business Park Calling Investors

Aug 26, 2008, 7:02 AM | Article By: By Nfamara Jawneh

The July 22ndBusiness Park, located just adjacent to Banjul International Airport in Yundum, is open for investors to develop and manage there.

The Business Park, owned by The Gambia Investment Promotion and Free Zone Agency (GIPFZA), has a total of 160 hectares out of which 8.8 hectares has been developed with a total investment of $6.2 million.

At the park there is already backup energy, a wastewater treatment plant, networks for telecoms, electrical supply, sewerage, storm and potable water.

At the moment, the 2,000m2 shell has been rented to a garment manufacturing company.

GIPFZA on Friday organised a one-day forum for local investors to brief them about the opportunities available at the park.

Speaking at the occasion held at Paradise Suite Hotel, Mr. Kebab Njie, CEO GIPFZA, said, "it's prudent for domestic investors to know the opportunities available at the park before we extend the invitation to foreign investors. As potential partners we feel that Gambian investors should be first to explore the opportunities available at the park."

In a PowerPoint presentation, Yaya Pito Kassama Director of Free Zones at GIPFZA, said potential investors could develop the park and manage it for a period of 25 years with an option of extending it. He stated that the park was selected from five locations in the country to host high class industries.

He revealed that GIPFZA wants qualified firms or a consortium to build factory shells in the serviced 8.8 hectares using its own capital. They can then attract and lease out these shells to qualified tenants, collect all rents and share small parts of rental revenue with GIPFZA to recover its investment in on-site infrastructure.

US $10,000 is to be paid upon agreement of the development guidelines and fees will increase $5000 per year or as negotiated.

GIPFZA, he said, could direct companies to the park during facilitation and can broadcast the park as a major business destination during promotion. He added that they cannot favour one park over another or be viewed as "a park promoter".
Several indigenous business tycoons attended Friday's forum most of whom welcomed the development of the park.