By: Kebba AF Touray

45 Belgian Companies operating in the areas of Agriculture, Education, Health, Infrastructure, telecommunication among others, are expected in Banjul on Thursday 24thJanuary 2018, courtesy of the first trade fair and investment mission between Banjul and Brussels.

The bilateral mission according to officials of the two states, is meant to strengthen the existing trade and investment relation between the two countries, as well as enabling Belgian Companies to explore business opportunities and establish partnerships with the public and private sector institutions, from diverse priority sectors of the economy.

It is against this backdrop that The Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GiEPA) in collaboration with other stakeholders, held a press conference to create and increase public awareness on this mission.

Mr. Lamin Gaye, the chairperson of the conference said the mission aims at strengthening and promoting Banjul / Brussels ties, which needs public awareness creation. He urged key players to strive towards the success of the mission.

Mr. Assan Faal, CEO at GiEPA, described the day as an important milestone in the country’s pursuit to investment promotion and trade collaboration; that this will go a long way in creating job opportunities in the country. “This mission will go a long way in fostering trade collaboration and investment promotion as our constitutional mandate through an Act of the National Assembly, with the primary aim of creating employment in the Gambia”, he emphasized.

Mr. Faal thanked CBL, MOFEA, GCCI and other stakeholders for their immense collaboration and contribution and assured their Belgian counterparts of their full support in making their mission an accomplished one.

Mr. Marc Van Maldegem on behalf of CBL, narrated that the collaboration is a byproduct of their meeting with H.E. Barrow, during his visit to Brussels and CBL on the 17th of March 2017, which culminated into the signing of an MOU. He recognized the roles of key actors in the crusade, noting that it is a key component in the realization of the mission.

“Gambia seem in Belgium as a country of hope in Africa. The change that was made in The Gambia was unique. The peaceful manner in which The Gambian population dealt with the change, is welcomed and appreciated in Belgium. This gave us hope and that has shown us a keen interest in The Gambia and there are lots of opportunities, links, corporations and ties between Banjul and Belgium”, he stressed

He revealed that as of 24th January 2018, 45 Belgian Companies will be in Banjul to per take in the first bilateral trade fair and investment mission between the two nations, which aims to promote trade and provide job opportunities in The Gambia. He tasked the two countries to take ownership of the mission geared towards bringing it into fruition.

Similar comments were echoed by the Honorary Consul of The Gambia to the Kingdom of Belgium, Mr. Pierre LM Sarr and Ms. Beatrice A Mboge, Director of Corporate Services at GCCI, who all hailed the mission as a step in the right direction and implored on all to strive in making it a success.

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