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Pakistani industrialist eyes Gambia for investment

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By Lamin Cham

Ehtisham Kalid Khan, chairman of the BenFlip Group of Companies based in Pakistan and operating in many countries, has spoken of his company’s intention to start work in The Gambia.

Mr Khan, who first came to The Gambia during the recently held OIC Summit, said BenFlip is an investment body with 166 industrial companies working mainly in Pakistan but with offices in US, UK, the Gulf countries among others.

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“What we do is exporting and marketing products from the 166 companies. We are into various areas of business including IT, pharmaceuticals, industries, software technology, various mobile apps as well  as providing training for the youths so that they can start working with international businesses.” Khan said what is needed first is to have an investment company to capture all these brilliant ideas.

“So, first is a feasibility which we can propagate to the different potential investors under the group,” he said.

On the specific planned activity in mind for the Gambia, Khan said during his meetings with Gambian officials on the sidelines of the OIC summit, a lot of common grounds were discovered.

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“For example, the Gambia government is very keen to make essential goods available and affordable to the people and so we are exploring ways to bring all essential goods in large quantities to be kept in warehouses across the country. This will stabilize prices,” Khan said.

He said the other area could be to enhance the value of scrapped metals by providing industries that can make them into finished products, such as cooking utensils, spare parts etc.

“In this way, the scrapped metal business will be more rewarding to dealers,” he said.

He said similar things can be done too in the pharmaceutical industry.

Mr Khan noted that the various Gambian authorities he met such as GIEPA are all helpful and keen on getting things started here. ”Hopefully in the very near future, we will be functioning”.

Sheriff Baldeh, an economic and investment diplomat and head of Sofora, said the opportunities provided by BenFlip, coming straight out of the OIC summit, demonstrate the great impact the meeting has achieved.

“This is a very exciting development and great opportunity to the country to tap,” he said.

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