- September 7, 2016
SECTORS TO INVEST IN
The nation is mainly an agricultural country with 80 percent of the population of 1.5 million reliant on agriculture for its food and cash income. The farming economy is the single means of income making for the main stream of rural families. This sector contributes 32% of the Gross Domestic product, providing employment and income for 80% of the population, and accounting for 70% of the country’s foreign exchange earnings. It remains the prime sector to raise income levels, for investments, to improve food security and reduce levels of poverty. Cash crops such as cotton and groundnuts are grown in the up-land areas and rice in lowland, riverine areas (rain-fed swamps or under irrigation) for both subsistence and cash. Other principal subsistence cereal crops grown are maize, sorghum and millet.
Manufacturing events are restricted to small and medium-scale enterprises producing mainly for the domestic market. There are large deposits of kaolin discovered in one of the provinces (URD), and salt which are currently unexploded. The call for sanitary wares and quality ceramic tiles are currently met through imports. Investment in a foundry that uses scrap metals for the production of finished-iron and metal plates required in the construction industry and small-scale repair workshops, offers good opportunity. Also, light pharmaceutical industry and light engineering for manufacturing and assembling of electrical and mechanical components for domestic appliances and repair workshops, are reflected to be potential areas of investment. Due to its strategic location and modest prices, manufacturing sector in the Gambia relishes export opportunities to the sub-regional markets.
The expansion of capital market and growth of financial mediators to widen and alleviate access to credit by investors in the productive sectors of the economy will improve the production capacity of these enterprises with the multiplier effects on the growth of the economy. Government is dedicated to establishment of a capital market and other financial intermediaries. Private sector investments in this area are encouraged by the government. Investment opportunities are obtainable in air and sea transport services linking the Gambia and the sub-region to enhance trade as well as simplify supply sources of raw material inputs for the industries. Similarly, investment in river transportation linking, Banjul and up-country will facilitate movement of goods and people to urban centers. Lastly, the Gambia’s open door policy, respect for human rights and rule of law, provides an ideal investment climate.
The Gambia does not have a large mining industry nor does it own large exposed deposits of valuable minerals or gems, but there are deposits of lower value minerals in certain areas. Successful mining of glass and quartz sand deposits for treasured minerals has been carried out near the coast South of Banjul.
Potential of The Gambia
The Gambia is an investment heaven. This potential and talent is based upon comprehensive and reliable macroeconomic policies, constitutional guarantees against expropriation of investment and for protection of investment.
The Gambia has a liberal, market-based economy branded by traditional subsistence agriculture, a historic reliance on groundnuts (peanuts) for export earnings, a re-export trade built up around its ocean port, low import duties, minimal administrative procedures, a fluctuating exchange rate with no exchange controls, and a significant tourism industry. Agriculture accounts for roughly 30% of gross domestic product (GDP) and employs about 70% of the labour force. Within agriculture, peanut production accounts for 6.9% of GDP, other crops 8.3%, livestock 5.3%, fishing 1.8%, and forestry 0.5%. Industry accounts for approximately 8% of GDP and services approximately 58%. The limited amount of manufacturing is mainly agricultural-based (e.g., peanut processing, bakeries, a brewery, and a tannery). Other manufacturing activities embrace soap, soft drinks, and clothing.
Why to Invest in Gambia?
A stable and passive country
Easy and speedy investment approval procedures
Liberal and free market economy without any ownership constraint or foreign exchange controls
Functional and effective banking services with foreign currency denominated account facilities to ease international trade
Free repatriation of capital and profits
Well-organized port, airport and telecommunications services
Close proximity to EU and USA markets
Striking investment incentive packages
Flexible and modest labour force
Intellectual property rights
Regional Markets: traditional gateway to the Ecowas market of 250 million people.
African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA): exports from the Gambia qualify for preferential, duty free and quota free access to the U.S markets
Friendly and hospitable people
Constitutional guarantees and safeguards against nationalization and expropriation of investments
Member of Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)
Member of International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).
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