By Isatou Jawara
President Adama Barrow said in a statement read on his behalf yesterday that any government policy and incentives that failed to recognise the private sector as an engine of economic growth will eventually fail.
The statement read by Vice President overseer and Women’s Affairs minister, Fatoumatta Tambajang was at the occasion of the opening of the 11th edition of the international trade and the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) at the Independence Stadium.
The President further said the New Gambia is positioned on the core values of freedom of expression, religious tolerance, respect for the rule of law and governance, liberalization and judicial independence.
“In pursuit of sustained economic growth and in so doing the New Gambia will reaffirm its continued commitment to institutional reforms needed to support an enabling business environment.
“As the President of the Republic of the Gambia and a businessman myself, I understand the challenges of our hardworking businessmen and women who have sacrificed a lot for our beloved country. From the onset my administration has taken bold initiatives aimed at confronting the limiting factors that can be traced to the 22 years of repression and willful distortion of the business environment” the President said.
He continued: “We assumed power with the full view of the need to successfully tackle these challenges right away in order to create a business friendly environment to stimulate economic growth and development. As a result my administration is now embarking on serious reforms to cost effectively addresses these limitations.”
The President explained that it is his government’s strong belief that institutional and legal reforms are needed to bring back the private sector confidence in the Government machinery. “To that end, we would engage the Private sector to quickly chart a way forward for the competitiveness of Gambian businesses.
As a new administration, it is open secret that we have inherited a mess from the previous administration. However it remains our responsibility to fix the mess and we are very much determined to put The Gambia back to work,” he said.
The President said his administration hopes to closely work with the private sector and the private sector support institutions to engineer economic growth. “Therefore in a bid to address the cost of doing business in the Gambia, we are working round the clock to permanently address the energy challenges of The Gambia within three years. In the interim, we are working on stabilizing NAWEC by deploying immediate power solutions to give the breathing space to focus on the permanent solutions,” the President concluded.