28 March 2014

Gambia, Turkey Trade Hits U.S. 30 Million

The volume of trade between the Republics of The Gambia and the transcontinental nation of Turkey currently stands at US$30M, visiting Turkish Competitive Authority top officials have disclosed Thursday.

Umit Nevruz Ozdemir and Caglar Deniz made the disclosure in an interview with the Daily Observer at The Gambia Competitive Commission (GCC) office in Kotu. The two are on a three-day mission to train officials of the GCC on international competitive laws.

"During the Gambian leader's recent visit to Turkey, the prime minister of Turkey asked for the level of trade between the two countries and he was told that it was US$30M, which he was not satisfied and urged the bureaucrats to increase the trade 10 times higher than the current level," Ozdemir disclosed.

He also informed that the prime minister of Turkey also stressed the need for Ankara to import more goods from The Gambia. He expressed hope that trade between the two nations will grow rapidly with the current bilateral relations.

Commenting on their mission, the TCA expert affirmed that it is meant to train their counterparts on the aforementioned topic and other relevant issues. "There will be a special session for commissioners and we will have a session at the University of The Gambia in the afternoon about the importance of the competition laws for developing countries," he indicated.

Ozdemir said they were pleased with what they have seen at The Gambia's young Competition Commission, noting that the staff are very committed and dedicated. "We came here to present but after meeting the Competitive staff with their vast knowledge about competition, we have to change a little bit of course to sharing experiences and learn from each other," he indicated.

He observed that the competition laws are the same and are globally applicable, which allows international companies to know the rules of the game and play it better. The TCA expert further pointed out that the competition rules in The Gambia are in line with international laws and that they can be played everywhere. "So when you have the same level field for the firms, they would know about it and will come and invest in the country. Here, I have seen that my Gambian friends are very knowledgeable about competition laws and that they have the capacity to build that playing ground for the country. So in the future The Gambia will attract more investors and the country will prosper," he opined.

Speaking further, Ozdemir expressed hope that Turkey could share her experience with countries like The Gambia and improve their respective economies. "And I think our governments and institutions will be very key in sharing their experiences," he added.

Dilating on mechanisms that Turkey puts in place to improve her economy in recent times, another TCA, Caglar Deniz, pointed to its sound competition reforms and polices. He indicated that the basic concept of modern economy is competition as in his view, without such, no nation can improve her economic development.

"That's what we had in our home country. After establishing and starting to enforce competition laws and systems, our economy improves better. You can see that Turkey has been growing rapidly in the last 10 years," he remarked.

He further opined that if Gambia establishes a very good competition law system with strong enforcement, her economy will grow even better.

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