Gambian President Adama Barrow on Monday promised a conducive environment for Turkish investors as he met Turkish officials in Istanbul, the state news agency reported.
”The Gambia is a country governed by the principles of democracy and it offers a favorable geographical position and a better system for Turkish investors,” he said.
Speaking at a meeting organized by Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) in Istanbul, Barrow said: “Being in this wonderful country is a great honor for us.”
He also praised Turkey for being a great country from ancient times to present.
“The Gambia has a history of a 22-year-old democracy, we need support from a great country like Turkey to do better as a nation. We, therefore, want to sign a new beginning between the Gambia and Turkey,” Barrow added.
He said Turkey could support the Gambia in many sectors. “Especially aviation, tourism, agriculture, and health sectors are great opportunities to invest in the Gambia.”
“With plans of infrastructural improvements to be done in a near future, we believe Turkey is among the best candidates to invest and work in these areas of my country,” he added.
Barrow concluded that his country has a favorable system for investors than many other African countries.
Turkish Deputy Minister of Economy Fatih Metin said the high-level meeting between the two countries’ officials will strength trade ties. “There is a serious business potential among the two nations.”
Metin added that Turkey is prepared to work together with the Gambia in the fulfillment of services such as an airport, hotel, and roads.
“We think that the Turkish construction industry will make a great contribution to the construction of all kinds of infrastructures in the development of the Gambia,” he said.
Nail Olpak, DEIK’s president, said although economic relations between the two countries have not yet reached the mutually desired level, an important effort is being made.
Meanwhile, Saban Dincer, the chairman of the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey-Gambia Business Council, said: “Turkish Airlines (THY)’s initiative of direct flights to Banjul are among our highest priorities.”
”This visit will strengthen Turkey-Gambia relations,” Dincer added.
The Gambia’s economy relies on tourism, rain-dependent agriculture, and remittances. The West African country has a population of 2 million, with a fairly high average rate of growth of 2.8 percent per year over the last decade, according to the World Bank.
Turkey and the Gambia signed bilateral agreements in 2014 during a joint economic commission meeting which was held in capital Banjul.