FOROYAA Newspaper (Serrekunda)

Gambia: The Gambia's Trade Policy

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This column is devoted to monitor and report on issues that are impeding food security in the Gambia as well as the interventions of Government and Non-governmental Organizations. In today's edition and subsequent ones, we shall bring to the attention of our readers the speeches made at the meeting of the Stakeholders in the Groundnut Value Chain, held in Jenoi, Lower River Region (LRR), from the 19th to the 21st of November 2012.

Below is the presentation of Modou Touray, Programme Officer of the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) project on The Gambia Trade Policy.

The Gambia maintains a liberal trade regime and continues to pursue development policy objectives of improving trade-related services and pursuing export-oriented strategy to improve trade performance for poverty reduction. This Trade Policy is therefore set within the context of The Gambia's long term strategic vision of achieving a middle income status by 2020. The policy highlights the current trade policy instruments as well as provides clear guidelines for the implementation of government's domestic and international trade agenda. It is designed to improve and maintain a competitive trading environment that is capable of enhancing domestic production, improving export performance and harnessing The Gambia's comparative advantage in the services sector including transit trade.

In pursuing these policy objectives, the Government of The Gambia will be committed to the Multilateral Trading System, the ECOWAS integration programmes and strengthen its bilateral corporation with its trading partners.

The Government will also continue to strengthen its collaboration with the private sector through measures that would enhance private sector development and maintain focus on government quest for growth and development for poverty reduction.

To achieve the trade development objectives of The Gambia, the policy focuses on measures to:

• improve the competitiveness of The Gambia trading environment;

• support production activities for the domestic and international markets;

• establish and strengthen quality infrastructure for enhanced market access;

• ensure a fair trading environment for producers and consumers;

• establish an efficient trade information system;

• strengthen bilateral, regional and multilateral trade corporation.

Objective of the Trade Policy

The objective of the policy is to maintain an open and liberal trading environment and to better integrate The Gambia into the global economy. It also aims at providing direction for trade activities as well as to ensure trade mainstreaming in the productive sectors to make its contribution to the attainment of national goals of growth, development, and poverty reduction.

Measures to achieve the TP Objectives

• improve the competitiveness of The Gambia trading environment;

• support production activities for the domestic and international markets;

• establish and strengthen quality infrastructure for enhanced market access;

• ensure a fair trading environment for producers and consumers;

• establish an efficient trade information system;

• Strengthen bilateral, regional and multilateral trade corporation.

Trade relate laws in the Groundnut sector.

• Groundnuts Act 1952

• Groundnut (Standard of Quality) Regulations 1965, revised 1999

• Framework of Agreement between the Government of The Gambia and the Agri‑Business Producers Association 1999

• Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides Control and Management Act 1994

Trade Policy on Agriculture

Measures to achieve these objectives in the agricultural sector include:

• To improve the agri-business environment to attract commercial investment in agriculture in areas such as horticulture, rice, cashew, livestock, poultry, etc.

• Encourage Private sector to invest in sub-sectors with export potential

• Promote processing of agricultural produce for value addition.

• Ensure that national products meet international standards to improve market access.

• Address the issue of quality for ground nuts

• Increase Government expenditure on agriculture

Consumer Protection and Fair Trade

The institutions established to ensure fair trade environment for both consumers and operators:

• The Gambia Competition Commission

• Public Utilities Regulatory Agency

• Weights and Measures Bureau

• Gambia Standard Bureau

This forum is one of public-private partnership to strengthen our different roles support through the Enhanced Integrated Framework Programme at MOTIE.

We hope that at the end of this meeting we will be more committed to take the agricultural and groundnut sector forward by taking responsible actions.

Thank you for your attention

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