The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) Investment Policy Review (IPR) of the Gambia, has made strategic reform recommendations that could help the country realise the potential of its hugely untapped investment opportunities.
The recommendations were prepared at the request of the government and was recently presented in the capital Banjul.
It highlights actions the Gambia should take to improve its legal framework for investment and its approach to promoting foreign investment in the country.
“The IPR is timely and the new government requires visibility to attract new investments,” Naffie Barry, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Employment in the Gambia said.
The IPR reports that while the environment climate in the country is open to investment, its potential remains largely untapped.
It recommends clearer provisions and more effective implementation for the laws governing business in the country; strengthened capacities for government institutions; and a prioritized and focused investment promotion strategy.
Clarity, stability and predictability were noted as key words by Chantal Dupasquier, Chief of UNCTAD’s Policy Review Section during the presentation as she emphasized the role that foreign direct investment (FDI) can play in helping the Gambia achieve its development goals.
According to the IPR streamlining businesses registration processes; reforming tax laws; improving access to land; and addressing constraints that impede trade were some of the policy challenges that the Gambia faces.
Other critical areas where reforms could improve the country’s business environment are matters related to the labour market, competition policy and law and access to justice.