The deputy permanent secretary, Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment, Lamin Dampha has stated that The Gambia government aims to promote more export businesses in the country. This he indicated has led to the government’s creation of a conscious export promotion agency in 2010.
DPS Dampha was speaking on Wednesday during an orientation ceremony of enterprises enrolment in the GIEPA Export Advancement Programme held at the GIEPA office on Kairaba Avenue.
GIEPA has developed an Export Advancement Programme (EAP), a hands-on export development support service for exporters of made-in-Gambia products and services. The objective of the programme is to develop new exporters and accelerate business growth of existing exporters by taking advantage of new export market opportunities. The programme interventions are specifically tailored to the needs of each enterprise, with the mood of delivery comprising a combination of mentoring, training, and facilitation services with a view to address critical challenges affecting their respective operations.
Nifty Solutions and Finish Profiles (Gambia Ltd) have been confirmed for enrolment on the programme based on outcomes of their export-readiness assessments.
“If you look at the exports and imports date in this country the variants are very huge and without making a conscious decision to close that gap is going to be very difficult for us to narrow the gap,” Dampha pointed out.
He went on: “In the country everybody is demanding for foreign exchange because everybody is importing and only few people are exporting to bring in foreign exchange.”
Momodou Drammeh, the director of Enterprise Support, GIEPA, said export transformation of produce and export performances are a critical area that stirs the economic development of a country.
He urged the enterprises selected to take the programme as their own activity, stressing that export gives the country foreign exchange as well as develope the country’s brand.
Mariama T. Fatajo, director of Business and Exports Development, GIEPA, said the initiative is a pilot test for the export advancement programme, adding that regarding the piloting they have requested participation from 13 businesses out of which only 2 responded. After the assessment, he said, they looked at the weaknesses of each of the enterprise businesses as well as collaborated with them in the development of their export businesses.
Lamin Gaye of GIEPA stated that export performance and competitiveness for The Gambia cannot be overemphasised, noting that over the years, they have realised the low performance of the country in terms of exports compared to their trading partners who registered trade deficits.
He added that the National Exports Strategy is designed to transform The Gambia from a net importing economy to a net exporting economy. In support of some of these initiatives, Gaye stated, they thought it necessary to have pilot programmes that would support the development of businesses’ capacity to be able to successfully export in the global market.
Anta Jobarteh of Nifty ICT Solutions and Samuel Fasatin of Finish Profiles Gambia Ltd., both thanked GIEPA for the laudable initiative. They noted that for a business to be successful in a country, it would need the support of government.
by Arfang MS Camara