GPA has shortest rate in clearing goods
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Abdou Colley, Secretary of State for Trade, Industry and Employment has said the country has made significant progress in simplifying procedural requirements for the import and export of goods, adding that the Gambia is one of the countries in Africa with the shortest turn around time for clearing goods from our port. SoS Colley made these statement last week while declaring opening a one-day workshop on the theme "Dialogue on Trade Facilitation in the Gambia: Challenges and Opportunities'' held at the Atlantic Hotel in Banjul.
According to him, the government of the Gambia recognizes the vital importance of trade facilitation in order to improve national competitiveness as one of government's key priorities in the country's attempts to capitalize on trade growth opportunities.
He further stated that removing obstacles to trade will not only reduce the cost of moving goods internally, but will also enable the Gambia attract more transit trade in our to make this country a trading hub in the sub-region.
This has no doubt, contributed to reduce the cost of doing business in the Gambia noting that as evident did shown in the value of the country's external trade in goods that increased from D2.6 billion in 2000 to 7.6 billion in 2006.
He went on to say that the forum is part o the programs that his department in collaboration with the Inter-Agency Committee on Mainstreaming Trade and Trade related issues (Matricom) to encourage dialogue among the stakeholders to improve the trading environment and to enhance the country's competitiveness in the sub-region.
Considering that some of these programs require long -term efforts to build the national capacity, he indicated that the main objective is to develop and implement policies and strategies capable of integrating international standards and norms measures and other trade specific tools into national system.
He ended by urging participants to foster frank discussions with a view to come with concrete recommendations and proposals that will help to create a better trading environment necessary for the country's competitiveness in the sub-region.
Author: by Salifu M Touray