Saturday, November 21, 2009

GAMBIA: FDI Takes A Nosedive As Recession Hits Hard

Although the Gambian banking sector has so far escaped unhurt and has registered growth in investment and performance, investments in other sectors have been hard hit by the world economic downturn, as foreign direct investment (FDI) dropped significantly. Business Digest's Mariam Saine reports the findings on the Gambian investment climate.
Foreign direct investment into The Gambia has reduced by 60 per cent lower than forecast in 2008, even though it remains the most important form of investment in the country.
According to a recent report of a survey by the joint effort of the Gambia government, the Development Finance International (DFI) and the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management, investment in real estate and tourism and exports of goods and services also took a nosedive, save for the banking sector which remains unhurt and has recorded "significant investment and growth" because banks in the country have not relied on borrowing from their European and United States counterparts to fund growth, but have raised capital domestically.
This drop in foreign direct investment is widely linked to the global economic crisis, which caused the country's growth to decelerate to 6 per cent in 2008.
For instance, international tourism declined by eight per cent in the first quarter of this year, prompting the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to revise its forecast for the full year 2009, which now stands between -6 per cent and -4 per cent in 2009, as the pace of decline is expected to ease during the remainder of 2009. Real estate is also said to have suffered badly at the hands of the credit crunch and economic recession.
Trade sector, in particular, contracted by 12.9 per cent reflecting primarily the decline in re-exports and retail trade," said Gambia Central Bank Deputy Governor Basirou Njie, who delivered a speech by Governor Momodou Bamba Saho at the seminar, held recently at the Paradise Suites Hotel, at which the report on the findings on investment climate in The Gambia was disseminated and discussed.
Despite the rebound in agricultural output, growth in real GDP is projected at 3.6 per cent in 2009 reflecting reduced foreign direct investment, tourism and remittance flows.
In 2001, the Government of The Gambia with the support of the Development Finance International (FDI) and the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management decided to conduct a census on foreign private capital and investor perception with the objectives of obtaining accurate data for the formulation of appropriate macroeconomic policies; improving the balance of payments (BOP) statistics as well as providing International Investment Position data ( that is, the stock of external assets and liabilities); using the information generated to promote and facilitate investment as well as assets investor confidence; and strengthening public/private sector dialogue on the investment climate in The Gambia.
Since then, two surveys have been conducted and seminars organised to share the findings with the government, the private sector and other key stakeholders. The current report draws its facts from the third and final phase of the project, whose findings state that "foreign direct investment into The Gambia was 60.0 per cent lower than forecast in 2008", and that "investment in real estate and tourism and exports of goods and services also fell".
"A fundamental business truth is that capital is a coward and shuns high-risk countries," Mr Njie said, adding that where the business environment is favourable, entrepreneurship flourishes, and overseas companies thrive, strengthening the local economic fabric, and spurring growth and economic development.
He said: "Although sound, coherent and consistent policies are needed to create the favourable conditions for investment, there is a recognition that policymaking is more effective if done in consultation with business. I, therefore, wish to use this opportunity to encourage a more robust public/private dialogue bearing in mind that what is good for business is good for the country."
The deputy bank governor commended the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom for adequately funding the project and DFI and WAIFEM for their technical support. "We are also grateful to all those who participated in the survey," he noted.

Report reveals mixed results for MDGs, PRSP

The Gambia's efforts towards attaining the Millennium Development Goals and the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper objectives have so far produced mixed results.
The country made a modest achievement of only 3% from 2003 to 2008 in reducing overall poverty. Unemployment, particularly among the youths, and the quality of social services remain a great challenge to development and poverty reduction efforts.
The biggest challenge lies with income poverty and food security, for which agriculture is the only solution for a greater proportion of the population, said Alieu Ngum, chairman of the National Planning Commission (NPC) at a just concluded two-day donor roundtable conference on the Gambia National Agricultural Investment Programme (GNAIP) held at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Senegambia.
The conference brought together development partners, potential institutions and stakeholders who are actively involved in agriculture to discuss the GNAIP to secure the required financial support for the implementation of the investment programme, estimated at $266 million for a period of five years, to revitalise the agricultural sector.
“Despite the challenges, the country achieved an annual average growth rate of 6% from 2003 to 2008 above the 5.5% target in the PRSP," Mr Ngum also said. "Considerable progress has been made in the social sectors such as high level of enrolment at primary education - more girls than boys at the primary levels, 85% of population has access to water supply and some positive achievements in infant mortality.
"Cognizant of the important role agriculture has in enhancing economic growth and poverty, the Government of The Gambia did not hesitate to respond to the AU/NEPAD formulated CAADP by developing a well elaborated national programme for agricultural growth and investment to reduce poverty in the country.”
Despite the rebound in agricultural output, growth in real GDP is projected at 3.6 per cent in 2009 reflecting reduced foreign direct investment, tourism and remittance flows.
In Africa increased agricultural growth will play a key role in addressing the current food crisis, in contributing to overall economic growth and in helping to achieve the MDG1of halving the proportion of the poor and hungry people by 2015, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Employment said while delivering his speech on the occasion.
Hon. Yusupha Kah, the newly appointed Trade Minister, said the challenge of meeting the MDG1 under the current circumstances is “considerable”, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.
He expatiated: “Investing in agriculture is the key to reducing poverty and hunger in developing countries like The Gambia and it’s an essential element in addressing the current food crisis. Importantly, investing in agriculture also means investing in the rural population to enhance the human capital foundations of development.”
Modernizing agriculture is crucial to development, industrialization and food security in Africa and it also supports sustained poverty reduction and integration of Africa into the global economy.
Hon. Kah described agriculture as the “beacon of hope in Africa”, saying the sector provides 25 to 30% of Africa’s gross domestic income in rural areas.
"In The Gambia, the agricultural sector employs over 70% of the population and contributes about 26% of the GDP," the Trade Minister said. "This indicates that agriculture remains the backbone of our economy, and should in no way be left behind in the national agenda."
The importance of the agricultural sector in reducing poverty and serving as an engine of growth was demonstrated throughout the green revolution in Asia, particularly in India and China. Africa therefore cannot bypass this development pathway, as the majority of the African population lives in the rural areas. Despite this reality, the agricultural sector in Africa continues to be neglected. The ECOWAP/CAADP programme, however, has been designed to address agriculture as a priority for development.


The Governor of the Central Bank of the Federal Republic Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, has given a clean bill of health to Nigerian banks in The Gambia, saying they are all safe, sound and strong, as the institutions are working within the ambits of the law and are not operating contrary to rules and regulations.
The problems with some of the Nigerian banks in Nigeria did not affect their subsidiaries, Mr Sanusi said while speaking to a large crowd of high-profile bankers and other business moguls in The Gambia at the Sheraton Hotel and Spa in Brufut during a one-day visit to the country. "We have not allowed any bank in Nigeria to repatriate money from their subsidiary banks,” the CBN Governor said.
“Our message to the Nigerian banks operating in The Gambia is that they should consider themselves Gambian banks, they should operate under the regulations of the Central Bank of The Gambia, they should train and employ Gambians, they should try and share the partnership with Gambians and they should show a clear commitment to the growth and development of the Gambian economy.”
Governor Sanusi said this is the role Nigeria wants to play in integrating and serving as an agent of change of the development in Africa to ensure the capital that is available in Nigeria is used for the betterment of the African people.
Sharing with stakeholders in the country’s banking sector the details of what is happening in Nigeria to reassure Gambians that banks in Nigeria are safe and strong, Governor Sanusi said: “The actions we took were geared towards averting a major crisis."
He continued: “We are here to discuss among other things ways and means of building some form of cross boarder supervision and comparison of notes to increase the level of communication and information so that together we can ensure that the financial system in our various countries are protected.”
Despite the rebound in agricultural output, growth in real GDP is projected at 3.6 per cent in 2009 reflecting reduced foreign direct investment, tourism and remittance flows.
He reaffirmed the commitment of the Nigerian parent banks to operating professionally in The Gambia and to working with the Governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia for cross-border solutions in support of growth and development in the country.
Hon. Yusupha Kah, the newly appointed Trade Minister, said the challenge of meeting the MDG1 under the current circumstances is “considerable”, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.
The sister country bank governor also assured the Government and people of The Gambia that there is no illegal activity being undertaken by banks operating in The Gambia, with Nigerian ties.
“We have brought down the management of eight banks in Nigeria," he remarked. "We have disclosed that they did not have enough capital but not a single depositor has lost a single penny, not a single bank defaulted to a creditor and not a single correspondent bank has shut its licence in Nigeria,” Governor Sanusi clarified.
He explained further: “It is the determination of the Government of Nigeria that any one found guilty of any act of corruption or fraud, must face the full consequences of the law.
We have reached a stage as a country where it is no longer about banking; it is about sending clear signal that we are ready to hold people accountable for not doing things the right way and we expect our bankers to regulate themselves and to understand that if they break the rules, the day they are found out they will face the consequences of the law.”
The governor also mentioned the illegal banking transactions that were taking place in different banking institutions which, as reported, was costing the Federal Republic of Nigeria huge sums of money consisting billions of US Dollars, as well as that nation’s credibility and integrity.
Lamido Sanusi took the decision to prevent banks from collapsing and thereby rescued tens of thousands of Nigerians and other employees from suffering job losses.

Vice President Urges GCCI To Increase International Exhibitors: As 2009 Trade Fair Kicks Off

Gambian Vice President Dr Aja Isatou Njie-Saidy has urged the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) to work hard to increase international participation in the next editions of trade fair.
This is because interaction between local and international companies is one of the best ways to promote The Gambia as an investment destination and to forge linkages between local and foreign companies, Dr Njie-Saidy said while speaking at the opening ceremony of the 12-day trade fair that is underway at the Independence Stadium in Bakau where there are over 200 exhibitors, both local and international, exhibiting goods and services, as well as techniques of production, processing and preservation, and packaging.
Organised by the GCCI, and sponsored by Africell, with Global Properties as the official partner, the trade fair is held to bring wide range of economic operators into close contacts to build effective partnerships that will positively impact development of the private sector towards sustainable growth and development.
Over eighty-seven companies, nine banks, nine parastatals, four NGOs and four private radio stations and GRTS Television and Radio stations are part of the exhibitors at the trade fair. There are also ten companies, two national business enterprises and two small and micro enterprises from Taiwan. [read article overleaf]. Other international exhibitors include Senegal, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Guinea Bissau, and Benin.
The vice president said further: “The interest manifested by exhibiting companies in The Gambia's trade fair, despite the economic downturn the world is going through, is a testimony to the confidence that these companies have in our economy for the opportunity it provides for the private sector to realize its potentials. Above all, it as a testimony to the sound and prudent macroeconomic policies anchored on the promotion of the private sector as the engine of growth.”
It is sad to note that Africa, despite its immense natural resources weigh a little in international trade. The Gambian vice president said the reason for this situation after so many years of independence, is that Africa has not been able to set on an industrialization path but keep on exporting natural resources in their raw form and buy them back after they have been transformed into consumable products.
“We should keep in mind that we pay for every quantum of value added into those products whilst undergoing transformation, when we import them after they have been transformed. So do we enrich those nations and reverse that trend if we want to play a significant role in international trade relations and get our people out of the poverty trap. This requires a fairer multilateral trading system, where no country or group of countries are bent on exploiting others countries,” she reiterated.
According to Ambassador Wells, The Ambassador’s Special Self Help Project Fund (SSH) is only one of the first links between individual communities and the U.S. Embassy.
For his part, the Chief Executive Officer of GCCI, Mam Cherno Jallow, expressed delight that the trade fair has earned an international recognition, which he said is manifested by the participation of the international companies.
“We have many international companies who wanted to participate but due to space constraints we have no other option than to limit the number in order to give room for more local participation as the main purpose of the fair is to give the local companies the opportunities to showcase their products and services,” he said, adding that this year the number of stands has increased by 15%.
The projects went through a very selective and competitive process, the Ambassador said, adding: “We went through nearly 100 applications that were submitted from around the country, and selected yours. I have no doubt that the projects selected will advance our mutual development goals.”
Hon. Ousman Sonko, Minister of Interior, who represented the Minister of Trade, Industry and Employment, Yusupha Kah, said the Gambia government continues to engage in a business reform with a view to enhancing trade and private sector growth.
He cited frequent border closures as one of the main challenges of trade in the sub-region, saying it is our collective responsibility to make sure that we have a free flow of trade in the region.
For the president of GCCI, Bai Matarr Drammeh, trade fair is one of the greatest tools to achieve the ECOWAS trade integration.


Trade and investment sealed between Taipei and Banjul

A new trade and investment relation between Taiwan and The Gambia has been signed under the aegis of the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI).

The deal, which will create immeasurable business opportunities for both countries’ private sectors, took place at the First Taiwan-Gambia Joint Business Councils Meeting and the Signing of Cooperation Agreement between Taiwan’s Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association (CIECA) and the GCCI, on Monday at the Jerma Beach Hotel in Kololi.

“The meeting is the first of its kind between The Gambia and Taiwan in The Gambia,” GCCI’s president Bai Matarr Drammeh said. “The purpose of the meeting is for members of the private sectors of both countries to come together and do business.”

The 15-member delegation from Taiwan, who have various types of businesses, had come with “a very effective team” to The Gambia through the GCCI 2009 Trade Fair to form trade relations, partnerships and linkages such as corporations, ventures, trade and investments.

The GCCI president urged members of The Gambia private sector to learn from Taiwan and take advantage of the business opportunities inherent in the cooperation agreement.

“We are blessed to have Ambassadors from Taiwan who are committed, dedicated to the development of The Gambia,” Mr Drammeh said. “We are lucky to have such ambassadors and cooperation from Taiwan; let’s take advantage of that.”

He also commended The Gambia Ambassador to Taiwan, who, he said, is committed and always ready to take care of Gambians in Taiwan. He said: “I want to encourage all of us to do something with this opportunity.

Taiwanese visitors are here to do business and not as tourists. The delegation is here through the trade fair to do business and to assist The Gambia in trade expansion since The Gambia is a gateway to trade in the sub-region.”

The Gambia's macroeconomic position was amply explained to the Taiwanese potential investors who, from the look of excitement in their faces, are all but interested in the enterprising spirit of the Smiling Coast of Africa.

According to GCCI Chief Executive Officer Mam Cherno Jallow, over the past years The Gambia's economy had been growing by 6.5 % and in 2009 it is expected to grow by about 5% due to the world economic and financial snag, while inflation is said be in the region of 4.5%.

The country's 2008 macroeconomic figures for some of the main sectors of the economy were also featured by the GCCI CEO. According to the paper presented by Mr Jallow, agriculture employs 70% of the Gambia's population and constitutes 33.3 of GDP; services, which include the banks, IT providers, tourism and transportation, contributes 59% to the country's GDP, while industry contributes 7.6 % to the GDP.

As regards employment and the labour force, Mr Jallow said agriculture takes the lion's share of 70% of the country's labour force while industry and services carry 19% and 6 % respectively. Although the services sector contributes 59% to the country's GDP -- more than every other sector, it however employs less labour compared to other sectors such as agriculture and industry.

"Exerting the growth of agriculture is very important," the GCCI CEO said, adding: "It is labour intensive and takes more labour force."

Gross Fixed Investment, Mr Jallow noted, contributes 28% to the country's GDP, although "availability of investment funds is a limiting factor as many investors who want to invest cannot access funds".

"The country has high interest rates," the private sector chief said, adding that as government borrows from the banks, for outlay, the situation leads to tight funds or no funds for local investors and eventually leads to high interest rates.


The Gambia and Taiwan have had cordial and fruitful relations and friendship over the years, but there is more room for cooperation between both countries' private sectors as members of the Gambia private sector are also keen to make sure trade and investment flourish in the sub-region, particularly in The Gambia.

"Opportunities will always remain the bridge that will close the gap between The Gambia and Taiwan," said Kebba Njie, Chief Executive Officer of The Gambia's gateway to investment and trade, GIPFZA.

"Our two governments are also making efforts to bring together the two private sectors," the GIFZA boss noted, adding that "there is still room for improvement".

He expatiated: "GIPFZA [the Gambia Investment Promotion and Free Zones Agency] is very much keen in terms of making sure that Taiwan and The Gambia become a strong bond of trade and investments, as we have very shrewd, dynamic business groups in The Gambia."

He added: "There is also partnership between the two private sectors at a low key, so we -- GIPFZA -- have to fuel it or make it a reality."

Mr Njie also told the Taiwanese private sector members that The Gambia, through GIPFZA, has very attractive incentives such as tax holiday of up to five years for investors.

In his remarks on the occasion, the Chairman of the Taiwan Africa Industry Development Association, who is also the leader of the Taiwanese delegation to the GCCI 2009 Trade Fair, Mike Hung, said: "GCCI encouraged us to come to The Gambia and we are going to come here again and again. We have many investments - we can do food, packing machines, IT and other important businesses in the cooperation."

Mr Hung, who is also the president of Mike Hung Products Co. Ltd in Taiwan, said further: "We want to maintain a bilateral trade agreement between The Gambia and Taiwan. This meeting should pave the way for more relations and opportunities for trade and development. We want to encourage more Gambians to visit Taiwan. The future investment of The Gambia is good."

Relations between Taiwan and The Gambia is very close but the business of trade and investments will bring it closer, noted the Taiwanese Ambassador to The Gambia, H.E. Richard Shih, who, together with the Gambian Ambassador to Taiwan, H.E. Maudo Juwara, graced the occasion.

"This country - The Gambia - there is political stability, economic prosperity, great potential; so take advantage of your business positions; try to integrate and mingle with one another to find business opportunities," Ambassador Shih told his compatriots from the private sector in Taiwan.

"There are very successful men and women in The Gambia to interact, integrate and mingle with," he told the 15-member delegation that travelled all the way from Taiwan to The Gambia to witness the GCCI 2009 Trade Fair.

"This is the first Taiwan-Gambia business conference, and it is not the last," the Ambassador noted, saying: "I want to see a very dynamic movement in practice; I want to see the successful cooperation between members of the two private sectors."

The Gambian Ambassador, H.E. Juwara, for his part, said: "Cooperation between the two private sectors should commensurate with the cooperation between the two governments."

Both ambassadors have agreed to support trade promotion between the two countries and private sectors, Ambassador Juwara noted.

"Promoting trade cooperation between the two countries will pave the way for a successful mutual beneficial cooperation of the two private sectors," he said.

"There is prospect and enormous business opportunities between the two private sectors. What we want from Taiwanese business people is their experience and expertise. Taiwan is the 16th largest trading country in the world.

"I would like to invite the talented and able Gambian businessmen and women to take advantage of the business opportunities between the two private sectors and countries.

"I would like Taiwanese business people who are not here to be informed and encouraged to show interest in The Gambia and come and invest."


The US Embassy in The Gambia on Tuesday held a business forum at the Coconut Residence Hotel in Kerr Serign to discuss ways to promote trade between The Gambia and the US, increase financing opportunities, entrepreneurial empowerment, and provide a platform for dialogue and networking.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister for Trade, Industry and Employment, Yusupha Kah, said the meeting was not the first time the US Embassy had taken such a laudable initiative.

“The Government of The Gambia, through my ministry, is immensely grateful to the Government and people of the United States of America," Hon Kah said. "The US Embassy and His Excellency the Ambassador have consistently tried to complement the efforts of the Gambia government in enhancing the capacity of the private sector particularly the SMEs and sharing valuable information with them in a bid to raise awareness on the market access opportunities in the US.”

The trade and investment forum, the trade minister said, would bridge an important information gap and instill more confidence in both countries' private sector operators to venture into the US market.

"I am aware that our private sector operators who are regularly exporting to the US are here with us today at this forum to share their experience. This will go a long way in demonstrating that accessing the US market is not an ever elusive dream but can be a reality,” he noted.

Mr Kah said further: “My understanding is that this forum is not just another information session, but it is also meant to be an opportunity for interaction and networking. The US market is huge, with an endless list of goods and services that could be exported. However, it is disheartening to note that US trade with sub-Saharan Africa is still very minimal and overly dominated by petroleum products.

"In The Gambia, our national statistics confirm this trend. Our total trade with the US is around a paltry 2%. The Gambia’s total trade with the US amounted to D785.4 million in 2008 accounting for 10.5% of The Gambia’s total trade. Our mid-year trade statistics review in 2009 shows total trade with the US at D96.4 million representing 2.0% of The Gambia’s total trade from January to June 2009. The main exports to the US are crude groundnut oil, fish and fishery products and worn clothing.”

Hon. Kah said that to encourage more substantive trade between the US and sub-Saharan Africa, the US Government in 2000 promulgated the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). "This Act, which was originally to expire in 2008, and later extended to 2015, makes it possible for eligible sub-Saharan African countries to export over 6000 products duty free into the US market,” he said.

The Gambia became an AGOA-eligible country in 2003 and qualified for the textile visa in 2008. The Ministry of Trade and other partners including the US Embassy have been working tirelessly to help potential Gambian entrepreneurs and producers to export to the US under the AGOA initiative.

"However," said Mr Kah, “experience has shown that the Gambian private sector, unlike their counterparts in other countries, has not made good use of this golden opportunity that is provided by the AGOA. It is our expectation that this trend will change after this forum. We encourage private operators in The Gambia to work in partnerships/groups to enhance their capacity for their exports.”

For his part, US Ambassador Barry Wells said the purpose of the forum was to promote trade between the US and The Gambia, and continue the dialogue on how important investment is to the economic development of The Gambia.

“Many of you already own businesses, but are not currently trading with the US," Ambassador Wells noted. "We have invited you here today to inform you that breaking into the US market is not as difficult as it may seem. The US Embassy along with FCS, WATH, and EEB at the Department of State are here today to demystify the importing process and offer resources and material to help simplify this process."

He continued: "The US is more than 6,000 miles away, and beginning a trade relationship with the US takes work; however, there are a multitude of resources available to you that can guide you away from thinking that the US market is unreachable. That is a myth we are determined to dispel today.”

Ambassador Wells added: “The forum is not just about increasing trade to benefit US interests. That is why we have both the FCS here (which promotes imports from the US) here and the WATH (which promotes exports to the US). This forum is for the greater benefit of The Gambia, the growth of the economic market, and overall improvement of social development. There is no question that it is investment that makes an economy thrives. It is an opportunity for you to learn how to enter the US market and ultimately impact the economic growth of your country.”

Ambassador Wells also added that AGOA is an opportunity to strengthen commercial ties between the two countries. Currently, The Gambia’s imports and exports to the US are small and even non-existent in areas that may offer potential.

“During this forum you will hear about opportunities under the African Growth and Opportunity Act AGOA, which has been one of the cornerstones of the US strategy to jump start Africa’s economic development and encourage pro-growth policies," he told the august gathering.

'Through AGOA some 40 African nations have benefited from preferential access to American markets. Under AGOA there are over 6,400 products available for tax free trading."

The Gambia became an eligible AGOA country in 2003; however few people know about its benefits or have taken advantage of them. The US Ambassador said the purpose of the forum, therefore, was to make AGOA more transparent to the public and provide resources that may foster further trade under the trade opportunity.

Standard Chartered Bank Opens New State-of-art Dealing Room

Standard Chartered Bank Gambia has opened its brand new, state-of-the-art Dealing Room in a short but impressive ceremony today.

The new Dealing room which was formally opened by the Governor of the Central Bank, Mr. Bamba Saho and Standard Chartered Gambia, CEO, Mr. Humphrey Mukwereza in attendance, is a result of a USD100, 000 investment which is another sign of the Bank’s continued investment in The Gambia.

The infrastructure in the Dealing Room will allow the Bank to provide its customers with real time global macroeconomic and local indicators which will include interest rates, exchange rates and commodity prices.

It will also ensure that Standard Chartered Gambia provides value adding products such as commodity and derivatives hedging which will ensure that the Bank’s customers mitigate their risk and increase their rewards. The Dealing Room is also equipped with the online dealing platform (OLT3) where the customers will be able to conclude foreign exchange transactions from the comfort of their offices.

Commenting, Mr. Bamba Saho, Governor of Central Bank stated “a modern Dealing Room is a key component of the infrastructure necessary for successful international treasury operations. Robust trading systems give investors confidence - a top priority in the current environment”.

The new Dealing Room will support the Bank’s global Financial Markets business, enhance our Financial Markets’ proposition across Africa, increase operational efficiency, and enable the Bank in The Gambia to operate with international treasury-dealing standards.

Standard Chartered Gambia CEO Humphrey Mukwereza, said that “the new facilities have put the Bank’s system at par with global treasury operations standards - an opportunity that our business will readily seize. Standard Chartered’s continued investment in our systems, infrastructure and people in The Gambia is a real sign of our confidence in the long-term resilience of the Gambian economy and of the confidence we have in our business and franchise in West Africa”.

Commenting, Standard Chartered Gambia Head of Wholesale Banking, Bai Mass Saine, stated that “as the leading international bank in The Gambia, Standard Chartered Bank will continue to lead the way in the financial services sector by providing innovative products and solutions, combined with outstanding customer service”.

Standard Chartered Bank Gambia limited remains committed to bringing meaningful investment and delivering superior financial services while continuing to be the Right Partner in The Gambia.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Introduction To The Gambia Business Updates

An independent blog out to fill the vacuum of business tabloid in The Gambia, gives the most up-to-date information on Gambia economy, business trends, industry and technology, market, commodities, agriculture, commerce, and health.

The Gambia Business Updates will provide an interactive forum for all the stakeholders in the economy to dilate on key economic issues. It will highlight notable success stories in corporate enterprises in the country as well as make a strong case for rural economic initiatives and small-scale enterprises by bringing them into the spotlight and improve their chances of getting access to micro-credit facilities. The seemingly insignificant entrepreneur of today might become the greater corporate juggernaut of tomorrow.

The Gambia Business Updates will also advocate for sub-regional economic integration, by suggesting the best ways to make it happen quickly. Increased economic interdependence among African countries by way of more trade will go a long way in extricating the continent from the morass of underdevelopment.

We exist for public interest!!!