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The Gambia. Sandwiched. “Gambia No Problem”. English speaking Peaceful environment Low crime – under 1% Low HIV/AIDS rate- under 2 % Religious tolerance Access to Ports Home of Alex Haley, Author of “Roots”-home to bi-annual Roots Festival. Population 1.2 million

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“Gambia No Problem”

  • English speaking

  • Peaceful environment

  • Low crime – under 1%

  • Low HIV/AIDS rate- under 2 %

  • Religious tolerance

  • Access to Ports

  • Home of Alex Haley, Author of “Roots”-home to bi-annual Roots Festival


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Population 1.2 million

Less than half the size of Maryland

Per capita income (2007) $400

GDP (2007): $709 million.

Annual growth rate (2007): 6.5%.

Principal imports--$345.7 million including food and beverages, manufactures, machinery and transport equipment, and minerals and fuel.

Major suppliers--Denmark, United States, China, Germany, U.K., Cote d'Ivoire, and Netherlands.

Market Overview


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Principal Imports

  • Principal imports--$345.7 million including food and beverages, manufactures, machinery and transport equipment, and minerals and fuel.

  • Major suppliers--Denmark, United States, China, Germany, U.K., Cote d'Ivoire, and Netherlands.


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Principal Exports

  • Principal exports--$14.5 million: 43.33% groundnut products, 25.18% fish and fish preparations, 2.43% cotton, 11.18% fruits and vegetables, 0.17% hides and skin, 6.191% re-exports, and others 11.52%.

  • Major markets--France 48.85%, Senegal 22.62%, Netherlands 10.21%, United States 7.02%, Germany 3.46%, and Japan 3.05%.


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Bi-lateral Agreements

  • The Gambia has bilateral investment agreements with Mauritania, Morocco, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom; however, only the agreement with Switzerland has come into force.

  • The Gambia has no bilateral investment agreements with the US.


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Agricultural Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)

  • With the passage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and the current negotiations for a United States-South African Customs Union Free Trade Agreement, there will be increased opportunities for American business looking to enter or expand their presence.


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Enhanced Infrastructural Base

  • There has been sustained improvement in basic infrastructure, including notably, expanded road network, airport facilities, and a telecommunication system which is one of the best in Africa.


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Market Overview

  • The Gambia has benefited from a peaceful political climate since its independence in 1965. The country's only non-violent coup d'etat occurred in July 1994 and was followed by a free and fair election.

  • Since 1994 elections have been free and fair.

  • U.S. Government lifted section 508 sanctions shortly thereafter in April 2002.


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Market Overview

  • The National Assembly passed the Investment Promotion and Free Zones bills in 2000, establishing the first-ever institution in The Gambia called The Gambia Investment Promotion and Free Zones Agency (GIPFZA). This Agency is responsible for coordination of all matters of investment promotion, and management of the Free Zones.


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Corruption

  • Corruption exists, and the government continues its efforts to combat it. The Criminal Code provides the legal platform for combating corruption


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Currency Rates

  • The Gambian currency, the dalasi, is generally stable against all currencies, including the dollar, the pound, the Euro and the CFA Franc.

  • The country is planning to adopt the proposed common currency of the five-nation West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ), the ECO, which it plans to launch in the near future


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Trade Sector

  • The trading sector has a heavy presence of Lebanese, Mauritanian and Senegalese businesses.

  • Almost non-existent US presence.


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Market Challenges

  • Corruption-The Gambia has signed and ratified the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption and Related Offences, but has not ratified the UN Convention Against Corruption or the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions.

  • Absence of mortgage banks

  • High interest rates

  • Presidential Seal

  • Public image

  • MCC


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More Challenges

  • Cultural traditions: Greetings

  • In Gambia the business concept of "time is money" is approached in a very relaxed and flexible manner.

  • People do not rush through business negotiations.

  • Punctuality is not always observed, as businessmen do not like to feel hurried and do not have the western sense of urgency.

  • Religion: Gambians pray 5 times a day


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Market Opportunities

  • The Gambia is an English speaking country

  • Need for a major Airline-Runway built by NASA

  • Seismic studies indicate the possible presence of oil and gas offshore. Drilling will begin soon.

  • Cashews are becoming the number one export, replacing groundnuts.

  • Completely untapped sectors: telecommunications, infrastructure, medical equipment, food, packaging


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How to Enter the Market?

  • Develop a ready made plan to purchase aircraft- offering research and substance to balance Gambian lack of knowledge in this area.

  • Expose Gambian companies to the US market.


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