The 6th edition of the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Trade Fair started this weekend at the Independence Stadium in Bakau. The vibrancy of the fair, the grand opening and the continuing daily visits by Gambians from all walks of life - not least school children in uniform - qualifies it as an event to make all Gambians proud.
The GCCI, its president and CEO must be congratulated for their efforts. The private sector has some inducible drive that makes it a key player in the development process of the nation. Absolutely, every business counts; big,medium or small. In fact, the private sector is the engine of growth.
The Trade Fair, which is an international event, has the potential of bringing greater investment opportunities into the country as the GCCI has worked hard to do over the years. The record participation of other countries from Africa and Asia speaks volumes about the effort and energy of the organisers.
It is also important to emphasise that in order to reach the magnificent goal of shaping a productive economy, the development of import substitution local industries is crucial. The trade fair is a confirmation that the private sector, through the GCCI, is making a most significant contribution towards the realisation of Vision 20/20.
As the trade fair progresses, the country's goods and services - its growth and commercial potential is being exposed to not only potential local customers, but also to the outside world. This will add weight to the already growing business sector.
Finally, with all the success attached to the organisation of the trade fair, especially its impact on the Gambia economy, the exhibitors have to put into consideration the cost of their products and services. Trade fairs the world over are meant to exhibit products and services to the general public; thus, the need to have an affordable and accessible means to the average man.
While we thank the organisers for coming up with the idea of staging the trade fair and wish them a resounding success, we also hope that they will take into account the need to incorporate the common person in the business by making prices affordable.