The visit of Minister Joof is the first visit to Guinea Bissau since he assumed the mantle of leadership of the Ministry of Trade. Excerpts from the Joint Communique are reproduced hereunder:
“At the invitation of His Excellency Minister of Trade of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Mr. Abas Djáló, His Excellency Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment of the Republic of The Gambia, Mr. Baboucarr O. Joof, paid a friendly and working visit to the Republic of Guinea-Bissau.
The Gambian Minister was accompanied by The Gambia’s Ambassador to the Republic of Guinea Bissau and senior officials from the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment of The Gambia and the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Gambia Revenue Authority.
On the occasion of this visit, the Minister was received in audience by His Excellency General of the Army Umaro Sissoco Embalo, President of the Republic and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.
On the sidelines of this visit, accompanied by the Minister of Commerce Mr. Abas Djaló, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Regional Integration and Employment of Guinea Bissau paid a courtesy visit to His Excellencies Nuno Gomes Na Biam and Soares Sambu, Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Interior and of Public Order, respectively.
During the visit, the team discussed the issue of imports of cashew into the Gambia from Guinea-Bissau. In this respect, the two Ministers pledged their Governments’ continued commitments to work together with a view to finding adequate and simplified mechanisms to support cashew trade between the two countries. This will require the involvement of Senegal in discussion.
To this end, they agreed to hold tripartite technical-level sectoral meetings to identify mutually advantageous cooperation opportunities.
With a view to establishing an economic partnership between Guinea-Bissau and The Gambia, the two parties reaffirmed their commitment to work to increase and diversify trade and encourage the development of partnerships between entrepreneurs and potential investors in both countries.
At the multilateral level, the parties agreed to consult and coordinate their interests on important global issues particularly those related to the Free Movement of People and Goods in the ECOWAS sub region.
In this regard, they reaffirmed their determination to work in a tripartite manner with the authorities of The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal to facilitate the trade of goods between the three countries.
At the end of his visit, the Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment of the Republic of The Gambia, Mr. Baboucarr O. Joof, expressed his recognition and gratitude to His Excellency General of the Army Umaro Sissoco Embaló, President of the Republic of Guinea -Bissau and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and the Guinean Government, for the warm reception and generous hospitality extended to him and his delegation during the visit.
The Minister Baboucarr O. Joof extended an invitation to his Guinean counterpart, Mr. Abas Djaló, to visit the Republic of The Gambia, on a date to be agreed through diplomatic channels.
The Guinean Minister expressed his agreement in principle for this visit.