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HomeAfricaSenegalese Commerce Minister Commits To Smooth Trade Relations With Gambia – The...

Senegalese Commerce Minister Commits To Smooth Trade Relations With Gambia – The Standard Newspaper | Gambia

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By Mariatou Ngum

The Senegalese Minister of Commerce and Industry under the leadership of His Excellency Mr. Bassirou Diomaye Diakhar Faye has said that he will ensure the smooth operation of trade between The Gambia and Senegal, while acknowledging the challenges and effort of raising the level of the two countries’ economic and commercial exchanges in recent years.

Dr. Serigne Gueye Diop made this remark on Friday, May 10th during a meeting with his Gambian counterpart Minster Joof and delegation in Diamniadio, Senegal. Hon. Baboucarr Ousmaila Joof was on a trade facilitation visit to Dakar.

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Dr. Diop, recalled that in the quest to strengthen economic cooperation and regional development between Senegal and The Gambia, three sessions of the Senegalese-Gambian Bilateral Presidential Council were held respectively in March 2018, in Banjul, in 2020 in Dakar, and in August 2023, in Banjul.

Alongside this strategic cooperation orientation mechanism, he added that other consultation or decision-making frameworks have been put in place with a view to jointly exploring opportunities for economic partnership, and the promotion of bilateral trade in particular. These, he said, were the large joint cooperation commission, bringing together all the ministerial departments and sectors and the Joint Committee for Cooperation in Commercial Matters.

Unfortunately, he recalled, the latter did not function fully due in particular to the pandemic and scheduling constraints. “I would like to invite us take to more action by setting up a work schedule for the Committee as soon as possible and organise Council meetings at the indicated periods. This will allow us address the legitimate concerns of our respective economic operators but also to implement the political guidelines of our highest authorities,” he stated, noting that he is convinced that together they can resolve these questions definitively.

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Current cement issue

The Senegalese Commerce Minister said that they have heard about the cement issue and others, and promised that they will discuss them and come up with a solution. He however adjudged that if they want to develop the country, they should allow Gambian cement to enter Senegal and Senegalese cement to enter Gambia. This, he said, is a political decision and so they will facilitate it and make it easy.

Speaking further on the barriers, Dr Diop contended that goods that come from Gambia should enter Senegal and vice versa. “We both need the market; Senegal needs Gambian market and Gambia needs Senegal’s market; we have do what it takes,” he asserted, while affirming their desire to integrate the economies of The Gambia and Senegal.

Dr Diop assured the Gambian delegates that they are very pleased with the relationship between the two presidents, reiterating that their vision is to make sure that the two countries have common economic, social as well as trade programmes.