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Gambia-China sign letter of exchange

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As PRC extends preferential scheme on duty free- quota free

By Mariatou Ngum

Hon. Baboucarr Ousmaila Joof, the minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment and His Excellency LIU Jin, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on Friday, August 11th, 2023 signed a Letter of Exchange on Duty Free- Quota Free Preference Scheme at a ceremony held at the Minister’s office in Banjul.

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The extension of the preferential scheme from the PRC would undoubtedly help to build resilience in the Gambia’s economy by increasing export earning as well as cement the already cordial relationship between the PRC and The Gambia Government.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Hon Joof thanked Ambassador Jin and the Government of the People’s Republic of China for their visionary leadership and noble gesture in extending a zero -tariff preference for 98 percent of the currently taxable products or more than 8 thousand tariff lines to The Gambia. “We cherish the continued support from the PRC and I look forward to working closely with you, Your Excellency in further deepening the collaboration between our two government for growth and prosperity,” he stated.

The trade minister added that the duty free and quota free market access has the great potential of promoting industrialization, creating jobs for the youth and women as well as to accelerate the rate of economic growth and development in The Gambia.

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He assured the Ambassador that his Ministry will be working diligently with the private sector and other relevant public authorities to ensure that The Gambia can exploit and utilize the preferences generously extended by the PRC to reduce poverty and induce economic growth and sustainable development.

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Minister Joof recalled that in January 2016, the PRC granted a duty free and quota free market access for The Gambia for priority agricultural products originating from the country. The products, he revealed covered in the offer include groundnuts, cashew nuts, sesame as well as fish and fisheries products.

“We all know that the Chinese market is vast and lucrative, and represents one of the most beneficial markets for the Gambian private sector. Thus, this event represents a major milestone for The Gambia. The scheme would allow Gambian exporters to export and increase their participation in the Chinese markets and create new job opportunities and reduce poverty in the economy,” he said.

For his part, H.E Ambassador Jin affirmed that it is a pleasure to sign the Letter of Exchange with the Minister of Trade on China granting duty free treatment to the imported goods from The Gambia which covers 98% of the tariff line. He noted that this is a new development of their trade relations and it is conducive for further development of their trade relations.

He recalled that last month, the minister and delegates visited China by attending 3rd China -Africa Economic and Trade Expo and he (the Minister) has a very good discussions with Chinese counterparts on how to promote their trade relations in the coming years and this signing is an outcome of the visit.

He encouraged them to promote their bilateral trade as it is beneficial for the 2 sides as they expect to see more Gambian foods and products to be exported to China and to welcome more Gambian businessmen to visit China to explore more business opportunities.

According to him, Gambia and China are trustworthy friends and partners thus the Chinese government attaches great importance to their bilateral and trade relations as this is part of their comprehensive relations noting that they are willing to strengthen the further cooperation exchange in the field of trade cooperation.

Speaking earlier, Mr. Lamin Dampha, the permanent secretary of MoTIE, welcomed the delegates to the office of the minister, while describing the day as very important for the ministry. Our gathering here, he said, is to sign the letter of exchange that will allow us to work on the preferential market access that the Chinese government has set to the developing country.

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