By Ousman Jammeh
The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) in partnership with the Ministry of Trade Thursday held a town hall meeting with the business community to discuss ways of addressing the high cost of commodities in the country.
The forum was held under the banner ‘empowered private sector for efficiency in service delivery.’
Speaking at the meeting, Lamin Dampha, PS Ministry of Trade, and Regional Integration described the meeting as very important and called for the continuation of such dialogue for business and economic growth in the country.
He said his ministry seeks to ensure that “we have a very viable, competitive and profitable business environment that will allow people to come and do business and those who are already here will be able to do their businesses.”
“It’s only if we are ready to work together that we would be able to advance the development of this country. My ministry recognizes the private sector as a key partner in development which drives sustainable economic growth by bringing its opportunities in value creation being a major contributor to the national economy principal job creator,” he stated.
The PS went on to say that they recognize their role in creating and deepening in Intra rural-urban and national trade on the continent, saying in their all-policies private sector has been considered as the engine of economic growth and therefore, their role in policy formulation and implementation is critical in advancing their contribution to national growth.
According to him, coming together will help them at the policy level to ensure that “we understand better the challenges you people are facing in doing business daily, because without that it will be very difficult for us to be able to adjust our policies to be able to meet those policies.”
He noted that if policies are formulated and those policies are not able to improve the environment, one will not be able to achieve what one wants. If business people are not going to be employed and livelihood would not be able to enhance, which means they at the policy level are failing.
“It’s important because without dialogue you will not be able to build a consensus on issues that are inhibiting your business growth. GCCI has been an outstanding partner to the government of The Gambia in pursuing our economic developments by improving the local business environment and strengthening business communities through advocacy that works in dialogue. The government of The Gambia appreciates and continues to value the close collaboration with the private sector,” he added.