The upcoming International Tourism Investment Forum 2014 is the maiden edition of a jointly organized tourism investment forum by the Gambia Tourism Board (GTBoard) and the Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA).Below is a statement from GIEPA CEO Fatou M Jallow on the upcoming event.
The Gambia Tourism Board and The Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA), are both institutions setup by the government with roles and responsibilities to contribute to the national development agenda; which is the development of The Gambia and people of this country. It is expected that we will all work together to meet our set objectives. So we are naturally bound in terms of delivery on our mandates. Specifically, with the GTBoard, GIEPA’s role is more on investment promotion and facilitation in tourism and related sectors. The GTBoard focuses mainly on marketing destination Gambia and product development to attract tourists. Of course, to attract the types of tourists that the country wants, there is need for more investment in high end facilities. Given our objectives, the two institutions decided to have a formal MOU underpinned by concrete strategies and activities to be implemented jointly. One of the activities within the MoU is the investment forum.
This forum is all about creating awareness which is expected to attract more investment in tourism focusing not only on direct foreign investment, but also creating a platform for networking between foreign and local investors. There are various forms of investments. Foreign investors come into the destination and own 100% of their investment. They can also form partnerships with Gambians. One could also have a scenario where an existing investment in tourism needs to undergo some refurbishment and or expansion but does not have the capital to do so. So we are not only looking on the investors coming into the country to setup new businesses on their own. The forum is an opportunity for us to bring together the local players in the sector to meet with other international players and hopefully establish linkages that will result in future investments.
This event will bring more exposure for The Gambia as a country particularly when it comes to investment opportunities in tourism and it related sectors. We are optimistic that the forum will attract participants who would come in and actually invest in the country either alone or in partnership with Gambians.