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Doing Business In The Gambia

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  • State Dept.

    The Direct Line for American Business program connects U.S. businesses with American Ambassadors and U.S. mission personnel overseas, making you part of our “country team.” You will get up-to-the minute information on markets vital to your business, and learn about new sectors and tenders to help you expand your business. For more information and to receive announcements of new calls, visit www.state.gov/directline

  • State Dept.

    The Business Information Database System (BIDS) gives U.S. businesses up to date information about significant foreign government and multilateral development bank procurements. Through an interactive map interface, businesses can find new export opportunities, validated by U.S. government economic and commercial experts overseas. Public and private partners can link to or download BIDS data for matchmaking, analysis, or other purposes.
    Please visit http://bids.state.gov to learn more.

  • State Dept.










    http://business.usa.gov/link-to-us
    .

  • The Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC)

    The Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) was created in 1985 under the Federal Advisory Committee Act to promote security cooperation between American private-sector interests worldwide and the U.S. Department of State. OSAC has developed into an enormously successful joint venture, with U.S. companies and organizations receiving the tools they need tocope with security issues in a foreign environment. OSAC is a free service to U.S.-based or incorporated private sector organizations with overseas operations.

    OSAC promotes effective cooperation by working to assist the U.S. private sector to better anticipate security issues, including identifying and tracking threats, particularly those targeting private sector personnel, facilities, investments, interests, and intellectual property. In addition to providing timely and actionable security information, OSAC also aids in the development of new markets with accurate assessments of current and future security environments. Ensuring that critical security information is shared with those who need it, when they need it, OSAC is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer constituents’ questions with expert analysis of rapidly evolving security challenges overseas.

    OSAC offers its constituents the latest in safety and security-related information, public announcements, Consular Affairs bulletins, travel advisories, significant anniversary dates, terrorist groups’ profiles, country crime and safety reports, special topic reports, foreign press reports, and much more. The OSAC information exchange mechanism also includes a staff of international security research specialists that is dedicated solely to serving the U.S. private sector. Additionally, OSAC has a network of Country Councils around the world that brings together U.S. embassies and consulates with the local U.S. community to share security information. For more information or to join, please visit www.OSAC.gov.

Exporting To The Gambia

President Obama announced the National Export Initiative (NEI) http://www.export.gov two years ago, with the goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2014.  Africa is home to 6 of the 10 fastest growing countries in the world.  U.S. Embassy Banjul is committed to supporting U.S. companies looking to take advantage of this opportunity to export and grow their economic footprint in The Gambia.  In this section, you will find a quick description of The Gambia as an export market, suggestions and additional resources to help you and your business get started.

Importing From The Gambia

One of the fundamental aspects of U.S. trade relations with Africa is the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) http://www.agoa.gov.  As part of The Trade and Development Act of 2000, AGOA provides beneficiary countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with liberal access to the U.S. markets.  It reinforces African reform efforts, provides improved access to U.S. credit and technical expertise, and establishes a high-level dialogue on trade and investment in the form of a U.S.-Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Forum.  AGOA provides a direct opportunity for Gambian businesses to access the U.S. market. 

Getting Started

Dept. of State

1. Do your research:

Visit the export.gov page on The Gambia to get an overview of economic conditions and opportunities. 

Access the U.S. Commercial Service’s Market Research Library containing more than 100,000 industry and country-specific market reports, authored by our specialists working in overseas posts.

The Library Includes: 

  •  Country Commercial Information ( “Doing Business In” guides)
  • Industry Overviews*
  • Market Updates*
  • Multilateral Development Bank Reports*
  • Best Markets*
  • Industry/Regional Reports*

Review the Investment Climate Statement for relevant information regarding up-to-date information on the business climate of The Gambia, the role of the Government in the private sector, rules and regulations and additional useful information.

 
Dept. of State

2. Consult the experts:

The U.S. Commercial Service offers assistance to U.S. companies looking to expand.  Commercial specialists can help you identify trade opportunities, find trading partners, launch your company locally, and obtain market research reports

Also, contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center for advice and support on exporting to The Gambia. Contact a Trade Specialist Near You (http://export.gov/eac/index.asp)

The Foreign Agriculture Service is a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and provides trade contacts for Gambian buyers looking for U.S. food and beverage products, market briefs to help U.S. firms enter and compete in the international food market, promotional materials for U.S. foods, and additional trade show assistance for U.S. suppliers. The Foreign Agriculture Service is also responsible for agricultural trade issues such as agricultural policy, food aid and biotechnology.

Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDCs).  Starting a business can be a challenge, but there is help for you in your area. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are partnerships primarily between the government and colleges/universities administered by the Small Business Administration and aims to provide educational services for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. 

 
Dept. of State

3. Make the Connections:

Potential investors should contact in-country business support organizations such as the Embassy Banjul or the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) – The Gambia for more information and additional, individualized support.

 

 


American Chamber of Commerce                   
54 Kairaba Avenue, KSMD, The Gambia
Phone: + 220-357-6000/ 752-3648
Email: recep@amchamgambia.org

 

The Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (GIEPA), http://www.giepa.com/, provides information on the steps to set up a business, the procedures for investing in The Gambia and the incentives on offer.  The agency can also support applications for land for new investments.

 

Working in The Gambia

In this section you will find information on business visas, travel advisories, and anti-corruption tools.

Business Visas

For information on obtaining a visa to visit The Gambia, please visit The Embassy of The Gambia in the United States located at 2233 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Georgetown Plaza, Suite 240, Washington, DC, 20007.  Tel: (202) 785-1399 / 785-1379 / 785-1425, 

E-mail:  info@gambiaembassy.us  Website:  http://www.gambiaembassy.us

US citizens in foreign countries should contact the nearest Gambian diplomatic mission or visit the website of the Gambia Immigration Department:  
http://www.gid.gov.gm/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=19&Itemid=79

 

Residency and Work Permits: 

American citizens who expect to work in The Gambia must obtain the following documents:

1)  Alien ID card costing 1,500 dalasis (about $50) for for both the principal and dependents aged 18 and above;

2)  Residential and Work Permit – Type B – costing 1,800 dalasi (about $60)

Retired foreign nationals and international students are issued Type A residential permit costing 1,100 dalasi (about $37).

Both the ID card and the residential/work permit are renewed annually.

All businesses in The Gambia that employ foreign nationals are required pay a Payroll Tax (also known as Expatriate Quota) of 10,000 dalasi (about $333) per person per year. Employers are allowed to employ specialized professional employees whose skills are needed by their company or organization but they shall not employ non-Gambians in excess of 20% of their total staff strength.

Travel Advisories

Make sure to check the current State Department travel advisory http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html for The Gambia.

FCPA

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is an important anti-corruption tool designed to discourage corrupt business practices in favor of free and fair markets.  The FCPA prohibits promising, offering, giving or authorizing giving anything of value to a foreign government official where the purpose is to obtain or retain business.  These prohibitions apply to U.S. persons, both individuals and companies, and companies that are listed on U.S. exchanges. The statute also requires companies publicly traded in the U.S. to keep accurate books and records and implement appropriate internal controls.   

More information on the FCPA can be found here:  http://www.fcpa.us/

A party to a transaction seeking to know whether a proposed course of conduct would violate the FCPA can take advantage of the opinion procedure established by the statue.  Within 30 days of receiving a description of a proposed course of conduct in writing, the Attorney General will provide the party with a written opinion on whether the proposed conduct would violate the FCPA.  Not only do opinions provide the requesting party with a rebuttable presumption that the conduct does not violate the FCPA, but DOJ publishes past opinions which can provide guidance for other companies facing similar situations.

More information on the DOJ opinion procedure can be found here: http://www.morganlewis.com/documents/fcpa/FCPAOpinionProcedureReleases.pdf

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