By Abdoulie John
In what can be described as a genuine attempt to propel Gambian economy into the orbit of growth,
Mr Abdoulie Touray, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of consultancy firm Sa Hel Invest Management International, has called on the authorities to set up an Export Development Agency (EDA) as a way of creating more opportunities for indigenous export trading companies. “We need to create an Export Development Agency (EDA) to not only indentify products that are exportable, but also to help the private sector to know how to develop a product to meet international standards. This can help to create major sales opportunities for Gambian entrepreneurs,” he said in an exclusive interview. Abdoulie Touray, who doubles as the head of Zenith Bank (Gambia) Ltd, the latest commercial bank to have joined the growing list of financial institutions in the country, went on to say that such opportunities should be of interest not only to manufacturers and traditional service firms, but also to export trading companies. “Our entrepreneurs should know how to export,” he reiterated.
Tasked with the responsibility to encourage, promote and facilitate the establishment of export oriented-enterprises, the EDA, he continued, could result in economic diversification, rapid economic growth and the creation of sustained employment opportunities. In spite of the general downturn in exports to developed countries such as USA, United Kingdom, France, Germany , Canada , Taiwan and Japan , the creation of an Export Development Agency in The Gambia will certainly help to develop alternative sources of income for Gambian entrepreneurs. The portfolio of responsibilities of a future Export Development Agency can also be extended to organising exhibitions and contact missions to market Gambia products.