21 July 2014

Gambia: 'Bissau Ready to Open Corridors for Gambian Investors'

Diplomatic representatives of the Republic of Guinea Bissau to The Gambia have declared that the Portuguese-speaking nation is ready to open its doors to Gambian investors, especially those interested in large-scale ventures, as normalcy returned to the major cashew producing nation.

The declaration, which was made during an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer, is coming hard on the heels of the recent swearing-in of an ex-Finance minister as new president of Guinea Bissau following his victories in the first and second round of the polls.

The country's Embassy in Banjul that has since created the Office of Cooperation, Trade and Investment, under the leadership of Ambassador Idrissa Diallo, according to officials, is poised to lure Gambian investors to do business with Bissau. "Our office would facilitate business links between Gambians and Bissau-Guineans. So we are urging all the business community in The Gambia to explore investment opportunities in Guinea Bissau, ranging from agricultural production to marine resources, palm oil trading amongst other general trading," Mohammed Deen, charge d'affaires at the Guinea Bissau Embassy told the Daily Observer.

He asserted that the Embassy is doing everything humanly possible to mobilise Gambian investors to bring goods to Bissau. "By that we are also calling on Gambians to explore the opportunities to partner with their Bissau counterparts," he urged.

Deen also cited cashew and palm oil production as areas that can be exploited given their lucrative nature.

"The office is here to fast-track their business process, advise and give them recommendation, and above all to secure their business. It was during the transition period that we set up all these structures and now that elections are over and we have our democratically elected government in place, all hands should be on deck to embrace each other in terms of business," he stressed.

The Bissau-Guinean diplomat also pointed out transport as another area that the new authorities in Bissau are looking into, especially in creating partnership between the two countries so that economic activities could be enhanced. Through this, he noted, traders from both side could send to each other goods such as sugar, rice and so on.

"We want to make sure that these things are done without any hindrance. Other sectors also like agriculture, which President Jammeh has mentioned during his meeting with the new president of Guinea Bissau, is an area Gambians can explore in Guinea Bissau. Bissau is ready to accept her Gambian brothers and sisters in genuine partnership. For us at the Office of Cooperation, Trade and Investment, we would do our utmost to pursue to make things happen. We also want to use this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh for his donation of 12 brand new cars to our president. He has played a major role during the inauguration of our new president and we want him to continue the support he has been giving to Guinea Bissau so as to ensure that peace is maintained. I can also boast to say that the new president of Guinea Bissau wants fruitful ties with The Gambia from political, economic and all other social sectors. We are in line with that aspiration and we want to say thank you to the president of The Gambia for his engagements in Guinea Bissau," he concluded. Author: Musa Ndow

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