Stakeholders in the business sector, on Thursday, converged at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi, where they brainstormed on the business environment reform study.
Organised by The Gambia Investment Promotion and Free Zones Agency (GIPFZA), the forum is in line with series of consultations that have been conducted with various stakeholders with the view to analysing the legal and administrative procedures linked to business in The Gambia.
These include the doing business indicators such as starting a business, paying taxes, trade facilitation, registering property, licences and permits, amongst others.The study, which was carried out by Atos Consulting Firm, a multi-national firm based in the United Kingdom, seeks to design a reform programme that would be implemented through support from the growth and competitiveness project.
Thursday's forum availed the opportunity for the expert to share the findings and recommendations of the study with the participants, and seek consensus and support for the implementation of the reform programme.
In an interview with the Daily Observer, Kebba T Njie, the chief executive officer of The Gambia Investment Promotion and Free Zones Agency (GIPZA), described the study as significant, noting that it seeks among other things, to create a business environment that will create an opportunity for investors to come in and operate in a very smooth environment.
This, he posited, will allow the investors and business executive to know what they are going to do in terms of taxes, how much time will it take them to access land, and when allocated, how much time will it take them to have their legal documents, amongst a host of others that are all geared towards enhancing the business environment for the attainment of the international best practices.
The GIPFZA boss maintained that the study is the reinforcement of things that have been done before, reiterating the fact that they are trying to create a business environment that we are all responsible for. As a government and the private sector, Njie maintained that they must be able to have laws and policies in place that they have designed in mutual consent and implement with clear set rules so as to avoid difficulties in the business sector.
He also observed that the computerising of the business system would go a long way in enhancing the sector, thus making things easier for business executives.Njie expressed hope that the study would have an impact on the existing business environment, indicating that the study have revealed a lot of readiness on the part of stakeholders.
Also speaking to the Daily Observer, Rahzeb Chowdhury, principal consultant at Atos Consulting firm, said the study reveals in a number of areas that The Gambia is doing good, but was quick to say that there are some substantial issues that need to be addressed.
According to him, if the recommendations of the study were followed, it would help prepare The Gambia to rise up in the rankings and make it much better place to do business.
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