‘Gambia-China relations enter new stage of strong development’

Aug 12, 2021, 1:24 PM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

Masanneh Nyuku Kinteh, the Gambia Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China  has stated that The Gambia-China relations have now entered a new stage of strong development within the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), arguing that the bilateral relations between the two countries have yielded a lot in recent years.

“In June 2018, The Gambia and China convened their first Joint Commission on Economic, Trade, Investment and Technical Cooperation in Beijing to facilitate formal bilateral economic and trade engagements between our two Governments,” he said at the opening of The Gambia-China Economic and Trade Cooperation and Exchange Conference.

The conference was attended by officials of The Gambia Ministry of Trade, Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA) among other stakeholders.

The convergence, which was held online, was co-organised by China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME) with the Embassy of the Republic of The Gambia in Beijing.

Ambassador Kinteh, said: “The Gambia has noted with satisfaction the progress in trade, investment, development assistance and human resources cooperation, within such a short period since the resumption of diplomatic ties. However, we wish to see more Chinese companies invest in The Gambia, to create job opportunities for our youths and the general wellbeing of our people.”

“The Embassy’s effort in organising this event online indeed demonstrates our commitment to promote trade and investment opportunities in The Gambia and further strengthen and expand the cordial relations that already exist between the two countries.”

The two countries, he said, recently signed a trade agreement that grants duty-free treatment to Gambian goods exported to China such as fish, groundnut, cassava, sesame and cashew, thus it’s important that the Chinese investors take advantage of this initiative. 

“The Government of The Gambia has created the enabling environment for the private sector to thrive which include Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) where private Chinese businesses can collaborate with the Government of The Gambia in a business venture; and also Purely Private Enterprises – where private Chinese Companies can establish businesses in The Gambia solely or by partnering with a Gambian business.”

The deputy head of mission of The Gambia Embassy in Beijing, China, Fatou Kinneh Jobe, said: “This event provides an opportunity to present The Gambia as an ideal trade and investment destination to the Chinese companies under the theme “Gambia-China Economic and Trade Cooperation Exchange”. We are of the view that the event will further deepen the trade and investment cooperation between the two countries.”

“We are optimistic that both The Gambia and China as good partners in the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will continue to broaden the areas of investment and cooperation.” 

Zhang Yujing, the president of CCCME, said: “The Gambia has good business environment and a high degree of market freedom. In recent years, the political situation has been relatively stable and the economy has maintained rapid growth.”

“China has become the largest trading partner of Gambia. In 2020, the bilateral trade volume between the two countries reached US $570 million, including US $540 million in exports and US $30 million in imports.”

Mechanical and electrical products, he added, are the most important category of China's export to Gambia. “According to the statistics of China's Customs, in 2020, China's export of mechanical and electrical products to Gambia was US $110 million, a year-on-year increase of 11.6%, much higher than the annual increase of 5.7% of mechanical and electrical products.”

“Today, nearly 60 Chinese enterprises covering infrastructure, agricultural machinery, automobile and other fields attended the meeting and they are all excellent enterprise representatives in China's mechanical and electronic production and foreign trade.”

“At the same time, we are very happy to see around 25 Gambian entrepreneurs participate in the activity online, which made me fully confident of the strong willingness of both sides to cooperate in the industry.”

“First, we hope to establish a regular communication mechanism with the Gambian Embassy in China in key industries and fields such as infrastructure and agricultural machinery, which are the general concern of enterprises, and hope that the embassy will provide more valuable cooperation information to the member enterprises and recommend suitable partners for both parties.”

“The suppliers recommended by CCCME" online platform launched by CCCME has invited nearly 3000 high-quality member enterprises to upload product information. Global buyers can contact Chinese high-quality suppliers without leaving home.”

“Gambian enterprises and purchasers are welcome to use the Chamber of Commerce platform to negotiate and exchange with Chinese enterprises, to achieve efficient matchmaking and promote comprehensive cooperation.”