Economic development is a programme, a group of policies, or activities that seek to improve the economic wellbeing and quality of life of a community and its citizens. Ideally, it will create and retain jobs that facilitate growth and provide a stable tax base critical for a growing and progressive nation. Economic development does not just happen. It requires long-term partnerships and strategies.
Undoubtedly, The Gambia has seen tremendous economic growth in the recent past. This could be explained by the fact that President Jammeh has realised that for The Gambia to succeed in competing in the global market, the country must first focus on developing our local assets to become marketable and more attractive for businesses and as well expand their operations.Within a few years, The Gambia has witnessed a growing workforce, expanded community infrastructure and services.
This and other existing realities have made The Gambia a safe haven for not only local investors but also foreign ones as well. The proliferations of commercial companies ranging from banks to light industries show that we are making head way in our trade and investment ventures.
The activities of the American Chamber of Commerce coupled with the advantages the country enjoys from the American growth and Opportunity Act is another indication that our market landscape is expanding far beyond our borders. If American investors gain entrance into the Gambian market, both the content and character of our market can be improved greatly. It will not only cement the already solidified bilateral ties between the two countries but can as well expand our economic gateways.
We are optimistic that if our trade and investment platform continues to grow at this pace, we can make head way in our battle against poverty and materialise our Vision 2020 aspirations. This is because there will be an increased tax base which can provide better wages, benefits, and opportunities for advancement of the people; business will be expanded - this will in turn help expand the economy.
Successful economic development affects everyone and doesn't just happen. It takes time, strategic planning and most importantly, strong public-private partnerships.We should all be in the vanguard to promote the country's economic agenda.