15 November 2012

Gambia: Foreign Direct Investment Synergy Underway

The Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA) on Tuesday commenced a three-day training on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) aftercare at the Sun Swing Hotel in Kololi.

The forum aims at reviewing international best practices, policies and techniques, and to develop the knowledge and skills of the participants, with a view to enabling GIEPA increase the long term effectiveness of its investor development programme.

Speaking at the opening the ceremony, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment, Naffie Barry, underscored that GIEPA is mandated to promote investment both domestic and foreign, and export of Gambian made production in foreign markets. She stressed that these functions require extensive aftercare services for both new and existing investors that have already selected The Gambia as their investment location.

PS Barry noted that an investor aftercare service is gaining prominence among investment promotion agencies all over the world. This, she pointed out, has been partly due to the increasing mobility of investors and the increasing competition among these agencies to attract and retain investment.

She therefore posited that poor investment aftercare couldlead to a widening of the gap between planned and actual investment."It may also be a course for poor investment and expansionary levels," she added, thus asserting that the training programme comes at a better time.

The Trade PS expressed hope that the participants will acquire the skills required to help and support both new and existing investors and encroach them to retain earnings in the economy.

Also speaking at the occasion, an expert from the Foreign Direct Investment Marketing Associates (FDIMA) in the UK, Peter McDermott, said most countries are not very good in terms of aftercare because they cannot count what comes in and goes out in their agencies.

For the director of Investment Promotion and Facilitation at GIEPA, Musa Bah, all stakeholders should work towards the chains of investment, adding that they are also aware of the need to collaborate towards sustaining investments.

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