The Gambia – China Economic And Trade Cooperation And Exchange Online Conference
The Embassy of the Republic of The Gambia in Beijing, People’s Republic of China in collaboration with China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME) jointly organized the first “Gambia-China Economic and Trade Cooperation and Online Exchange Conference” via Zoom on 10th August 2021.
The online conference is aimed at strengthening The Gambia and China's commitment to promote trade and investment opportunities in The Gambia and further expand the cordial relations that already exist between the Republic of The Gambia and the People’s Republic of China.
The Conference was attended by the Minister of Trade, Hon. Seedy Keita, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Trade, Gambian Ambassador to China, President of CCCME, Acting Director General of the Ministry of Commerce of China, Chief Executive Officer of Gambia Investment and Promotion Agency (GIEPA), Deputy Head of Mission of The Gambia Embassy in China, Representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Gambia, Embassy staff, senior government officials and over 60 Enterprises from both The Gambia and China (name list of the participants is attached as Annex 1).
Major agenda of the event included presentation by The Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA) on the Investment environment and trade opportunities in The Gambia as well as Presentations by prominent Chinese Business Enterprises introducing their companies.
In his opening remarks, His Excellency Masanneh Nyuku Kinteh, Ambassador of the Republic of The Gambia to the People’s Republic of China highlighted the progress in trade investment, development assistance and human resources cooperation between The Gambia and China. He encouraged Chinese companies to invest in The Gambia to create job opportunities for the youths and the general well being of the people. He further encouraged Chinese investors to take advantage of the trade agreement signed between The Gambia and China that grants duty-free treatment to Gambian goods exported to China.
He emphasized that The Gambia pursues a liberalized economic agenda which is anchored on the private sector that has been designated as the engine of growth and employment and therefore invited and encouraged all distinguished participants to visit The Gambia, participate in the investment programmes and thus benefit from the considerable incentives available to investors.
Ambassador Kinteh went on to applaud China-Gambia relations which have entered a new state of strong development within the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and that the bilateral relations between the two countries have yielded a lot in recent years.
Mr. Zhang Yujing, President of China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME) in his remarks indicated that in 2020, the bilateral trade volume between the two countries reached US $570 million, including US $540 million in exports and US $30 million in imports. Mechanical and electrical products are the most important category of China's export to Gambia.
According to the statistics of China's Customs, in 2020, China's export of mechanical and electrical products to Gambia was US $110 million, a year-on-year increase of 11.6%, much higher than the annual increase of 5.7% of mechanical and electrical products. China's export of mechanical and electrical products to Gambia mainly includes motorcycles and spare parts, household appliances, lighting equipment, agricultural machinery, etc. In addition, China is also the largest project contractor and the main source of investment in Gambia.
Mr. Zhang noted that CCCME with nearly 10,000 member enterprises and 25 professional industry branches will continue to give full play to its industry and channel advantages to promote China-Gambia economic and trade.
The Acting Director General of the Department of West Asian and African Affairs of the Ministry of Commerce of China, Ms. Xie Yajing noted that the Ministry of Commerce of China has worked closely with relevant departments of the Gambian government to actively implement the consensus reached at the talks between the leaders of the two countries and promote new development in cooperation in trade, investment, infrastructure construction and other fields.
Ms. Xie encouraged enterprises to seize the good opportunity of the exchange to deepen understanding, enhance mutual trust, connect projects, achieve concrete results and make new contribution to the development of China-Gambia economic and trade cooperation. She assured that the Department of West Asian and African Affairs of the Ministry of Commerce of China will, as always, provide high-quality services for Chinese enterprises in carrying out economic and trade cooperation with Gambia.
During the event, Mr. Modou Lamin Sow, Director of Investment at the Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA) made a presentation on the Investment environment and trade opportunities in The Gambia. In his presentation he highlighted the Comparative Advantages in The Gambia, the Priority Sectors for investment such as Agriculture, Tourism, Energy, Manufacturing, Health among others and further highlighted on the opportunities of investment in each of these sectors. Mr. Sowe also presented on the Investment Incentives available for investors and the Guarantees to Investors and Investments in The Gambia.
The Chinese Business Enterprises, PowerChina, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and Zoomlion AG made presentations during the event introducing their respective companies.
In her closing remarks, the Deputy Head of Mission of the Gambian Embassy in Beijing, China, Ms. Fatou Kinneh Jobe, expressed optimism that both Gambia and China as good partners in the joint construction of the Belt and Road (BRI) and the Forum in China- Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will continue to broaden the areas of investment and cooperation. She assured that the Embassy will continue to deepen exchanges between the two countries especially in carrying out pragmatic cooperation, build bridges between enterprises of the two countries and provide services to contribute to the economic and trade development of The Gambia and China.
Ms. Jobe, on behalf of the Embassy of the Republic of The Gambia, extended sincere appreciation to CCCME, Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Trade of The Gambia, Ministry of Commerce of China, Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA) and the Gambian and Chinese Business Enterprises for their participation and contribution in making the event a success.
At the end of the event, the contact list of Gambian and Chinese enterprises that participated in the online Conference was shared among participants for further matchmaking.
-Honourable Mr. Seedy Keita, Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment,
-Mr. Ebrima Sisawo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment,
-His Excellency, Masanneh Nyuku Kinteh, Ambassador of The Republic of The Gambia to the People’s Republic of China
-Ms Fatou Kinneh Jobe, Deputy Head of Mission of The Gambia Embassy in Beijing, China
-Mr. Zhang Yujing, President of China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME),
-Ms. Xie Yajing, Acting Director General, Department of Western Asia and African Affairs of the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China,
-Mr. Ousainou Senghore, Chief Executive Officer, Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA),
-Representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad,
-Senior Government officials,
-Prominent Gambian and Chinese Business Enterprises