#National News

GYCC concludes high-level stakeholders’ forum

May 23, 2022, 11:16 AM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

Gambia Youths Chamber of Commerce (GYCC) with support from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation on Thursday concluded a two-day high level dialogue on taxation under the theme: ‘’State of the Nation’s Business Environment, Reflecting and improving on our Policy and administrative strategies for the enhancement and mobilization of alternative domestic taxes to improve the Sustainable Business environment in the Gambia through reason tax’’.

The stakeholders’ engagement forum held at Metzy Residence Hotel aimed at bringing together the private sector and Government closer to collaborate and share ideas to adequately discuss the need to implement the special tax break for MSMEs in Gambia as incentive for business formalisation and chance of more start up growth and pay higher tax to government. The event brought together senior Government officials, National Assembly members, private sector institutions, Local Government authorities such as councils and entrepreneurs to a round table discussion.

Abdoulie Jammeh, deputy permanent secretary for Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment in his opening statement on behalf of the vice president of The Gambia described Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as the engine of economic growth in most developing economies.

He stated that, given the vital role MSMEs play in developing countries, it is important for young people in business and private sector in particular, as well as the trade to support organisations to join the Government through relevant ministries to participate in formulation of coherent policies that will address and mitigate some of the problems and challenges MSMEs in The Gambia face.

He expressed Government’s commitment to the development of youth programmes, clearly defined and articulated in the National Development in support of youth who make up 60% of the population.

He assured GYCC of Government support to help deliver to the young people of the country specifically on rural youth and women in business.

Juldeh Ceesay, deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs said, the Government of The Gambia is committed to “making the private sector and trade the engine of growth, transformation, and job creation.”

According to her, Gambia Government is working on improving on significant priority sectors such as diversifying service export and strengthening trade in services data management; improving trade and investment negotiations; enhancing customer welfare through competitive markets; strengthening Weights and Measures Bureau; improving access to finance; and undertaking tax reforms; undertaking investment incentives policy reforms; promoting The Gambia brand; strengthening GIEPA; strengthening MSME and industry development, and creating employment.

Adama Beyai, vice president for GYCC board said Gambian enterprising youth entrepreneurs face challenges; taxation in The Gambia is arguably the most challenging issue for businesses and investors in the past decades.

Mr. Beyai said The Gambia is said to have the highest number of taxes charged on citizens within the sub-region, noting that, multiple tax system needs to be synchronised, clarified, simplified and reduced. According to him, a 5-year tax break should be given to all start-ups.

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