The Gambia's Economy

The Gambia is a small but densely populated country with an per capita income of US$302. The Gambian economy is said to be open, liberal and the location of the country and its relatively efficient port facilities make it an attractive gateway to the West African region. Agriculture is the backbone of The Gambia's economy providing employment for two thirds of its population.

The economic situation has been stabilising from 2004 with the overall GDP growth rate of 5.3%, as compared to 2002 when the country experienced negative growth of 3.2%. This was mainly due to a generalised crop failure as a result of the exceptionally low rainfall experienced in 2002.

The Gambia also has a rapidly growing tourism industry and a well developed commercial sector, primarily comprised of import and export of consumer goods to the sub- region. The manufacturing sector is still very small, however, with the establishment of the “Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA)“, it is envisaged that the sector will grow and become a major contributor to GDP.

Within the framework of private sector development, and in the context of its regional development and leadership goal, the Government aims to strengthen the country in key areas notably including tourism, primary resource based industry, trade and services.

The Ten Investment Pillars of The Gambia

1. Good Governance
The Gambia is a champion of human rights and the rule of law.

2. Political Stability
The Gambia is regarded for its long tradition of democracy and multiparty politics; elections are held every five years.

3. Market-oriented Economy:

The Gambia's choice of economic ideology is clear. Being a liberal economy there are no ownership restrictions and no control of foreign exchange.

4. Enhanced Infrastructure:

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.

5. Streamlined Investment Procedures
 With the establishment of the “Gambia Investment Promotion and Free Zones Agency (GIPFZA)“, the Government ensures a transparent, improved, speedy, and streamlined system of processing investment and business registration procedures.

6. Private Sector Development:

The Government continuously seeks the creation of an environment that stimulates the development of the private sector.

7. Divestiture and Privatisation:

In line with its commitment to private sector development, the Government pursues a firm policy to progressively relinquish much of the commercial activities previously undertaken by Government to the private sector,
8. Constitutional Protection of Investments: There is strong commitment to safeguard against nationalisation and expropriation

9. Gateway to Regional Markets:
With over 250 million consumers in the ECOWAS region, and the advantage of proximity and preferential tariff access to the Western Europe market, The Gambia is an emerging gateway to markets in both West Africa, Europe, and other markets.

10. Investment Guarantee:

The Gambia is a member of both the “Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)“ and the “International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes“. This prevents losses caused by commercial risks and constitutes a confidence-building measure regarding dispute settlement in investment.

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