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City of Banjul
Saturday, September 26, 2020

Honorary Consul calls on Bangladesh, Gambia to deepen ties

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Kazi Khurram Ahmed, 34, who is also a prominent businessman in Bangladesh, spoke of the business opportunities which the country offers for foreign investment. 

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He told a Bangladeshi paper, the Daily Industry: “Hospitality industry could be a very attractive sector. Tourism is very popular in The Gambia for the country being a home of hundreds of species of birds around the 1130 kilometres long River Gambia. The land is just a paradise for the bird watchers from all over the world. Because of its peace, stability and strategic location, the country has been a big tourist destination. The Gambia is also rich with many wild typical African animals.” 

He added: “Most of all, all these excursions full of fun including staying in luxurious 5-star hotels or resorts will cost you very little. There is no other place where you can get so much for so little, trust me. Bangladesh has been in the tourism industry for a long time with experience and knowledge enough to establish hotels or resorts in The Gambia in joint venture.”

Knowledge about The Gambia in Bangladesh is reportedly low. Mr Kazi, who has recently been appointed honorary consul, is reportedly determined to foster business relations between Bangladesh and The Gambia. Also in December, a 12-member delegation, which was led by Minister for Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment (MOTIE) Abdoulie Jobe visited Bangladesh, accompanied by the ambassador of The Gambia in New Delhi, Dembo M Badjie; Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency Fatou Mbenga Jallow; CEO of Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry Alieu Secka; and Director of Investment Promotion and Facilitation, Musa Bah. 

This is possibly the first time a high-powered business delegation from The Gambia visited Bangladesh with a future plan ever since diplomatic relations began between both countries way back in ’80s.

Kazi observed: “There are some transactions going on little here and there like small amount of exports of goods from Bangladesh like RMG, leather goods, jute products, pharmaceuticals etc. that I know of. To tell you frankly, I am not much concerned about this small amount of business as this will not make any significant changes in the long run. We should take The Gambia as a partner for even bigger projects. As I have seen and known, even though The Gambia is a tiny country, it offers hundreds of kilometres of abundant land which could be brought under agricultural cultivation. Irrigation is no problem as the great Gambia River is running through the country providing clean, endless source of water. Also, the tropical climate is very much like our own country. What we could do is, we could lease some of the land with a little or no money and send our farmers from Bangladesh, who are trained and experienced in agriculture for years, to go and settle camp for the cultivation season to grow rice or wheat on their fertile land. The production coming out from the project could be shared on a basis of both parties mutual agreement. This way we will not only be benefitted in terms of strengthening the food security of our country, the surplus products could bring us foreign currencies by exporting to the neighbouring countries.

“There is a huge potential in this regard and I personally convinced some people from both sides to implement the idea. In their land, various fruits and nuts are also grown in good quality and Bangladesh could try those products to farm as well.”

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