Lamin Dampha, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Trade told The Point in an interview that the trade flow between The Gambia and Senegal is increasing due to the current political climate.
He said looking at the trade statistics, Ivory Coast and other countries were dominating the country’s trade. He added that recently they have seen the trade flow between the Gambia and Senegal increasing significantly.
“Senegal is our neighbour and they are increasing their capacity and are able to export a lot to The Gambia. The current political climate between the two countries is also helping in increasing and boosting trade,” Dampha added.
Speaking on high tariff, PS Dampha explained that tariff is paid when importing and is the duty one pays at the border. He said it doesn’t affect individuals when exporting but is only subject to the market condition of their final destination.
“It affects export indirectly, for example, if you are exporting manufacturing products where you’re facing a high tariff to process raw material, it increases your cost and affects your price. It leads to an effect on one’s competitiveness.”
PS stated that ECOWAS has a common external tariff, meaning the tariff is the same throughout the ECOWAS region. He added that tariff negotiation has never been easy, saying they negotiated the common external tariff for almost 17 years.
He continued that tariff is a very dynamic instrument and is the reason why it is frequently reviewed to see how it is responding to trade needs.