The 2007 trade fair, organised by The Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), is in progress at the Independence Stadium in Bakau. Dubbed “Tapping the Growth Potential of Small and Medium Enterprise,” the event has been attracting the attention of international businesses, including those of the United States of America.
The United States’ presence in the fair has been focussing on two major areas, namely the African Growth and Opportunity Act and enlightening people on the educational opportunities available in the US.
Speaking to this paper, the Consular Officer of the US Embassy, Ms. Wendy Kennedy, gave her impressions of the trade fair, saying that it would help promote Gambian products in the wider world. Ms. Kennedy intimated that The Gambia, as a beneficiary of AGOA, stands to gain from a lot advantage once its products enter the US market. She added that AGOA gives trade preference to countries that make progress in economic and legal areas and also human rights reforms. She explained that imports from AGOA-eligible countries enter the US duty-free. Through this medium, she said, Gambian products exported to the US, such as frozen, dried or smoked fish, will benefit.
Another area Ms. Kennedy addressed is educational opportunity in the United States. She advised those present on how to pick college placement tests and gave academic advice that could help people gain opportunities to study in different universities in the US.
Menaka M. Nayyar, Political and Economic Officer, expressed similar sentiments. She dwelt on export-import bank (ex-IM Bank), the official US export credit agency assisting in financing export sales of US goods and services. She urged both business people and other members of the public to seek out information on the three areas covered at the fair and to use them to their advantage.