GCCI Boss Says Lack of Capital Impedes Import/Export Venture for Local Business
The CEO of the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Alieu Secka, states that the indigenous businesses could not explore the export and import sector of trade due to lack of availability of capital to do it.
Consequently, this causes dominance of foreign enterprises in the market who are well-off to venture into exporting and importing beyond the borders, he said.
However, Secka believes that such a trend is quickly changing as local businesses are being stimulated into the market. Secka was speaking at the GCCI’s open day session in which the media and business community were gathered ahead of the Gambia International Trade Fair expected to begin from March 21st to April 12th.
He said The Gambia remains open to international businesses. “The International investors are welcome, but we just wanted a level playing field for everyone. We also want particular support for local businessmen as their biggest constraint is lack of capital.”
“The issue of access to capital also determines how big and how fast you can go and for a long time this is the biggest constraint for indigenous businessmen,” he said.
He acknowledged the impact international investors have towards national development.
“But we need support in terms of access to capital for indigenous businessmen for them to be able to compete in the Import/Export sector.”
Secka said the GCCI is doing its utmost best to promote local contents and participation in the import/export sector, adding that more indigenous businesses are increasingly participating and doing extremely well in the domain.
“I can name a lot of Gambian entrepreneurs that can compete with anyone not only in the region, but even worldwide like Taf Africa Global, who is doing extremely well as far as the participation of indigenous businessmen are concerned,” he said.
According to him, GCCI will continue to engage the government and other stakeholders to facilitate access to capital for indigenous businessmen.
Secka urged the businessmen and businesswomen to honor and respect their relationships with customers, stating such relationships should not be abused.
At this year’s GCCI Trade Fair, he expects huge participation from international businesses and he called on the local stall owners to quickly grab their stalls ahead of time.