Gambia Business Investment Opportunities

Gambia is an emerging overseas market and the Gambian property market is currently undergoing a boom period.

Investing in Emerging Markets

The Free Zones Act provides the legal framework for setting up Free Zones and their efficient management. The main thrust is to create a world-class investment climate in The Gambia for businesses engaged in manufacturing, processing and export oriented activities.

Authorised Business Activities In The Gambia:Activities authorized for the purpose of investing within the Free Zones are listed in the Schedule to The Free Zones Act 2001 and they are:

  • Warehousing;
  • Breaking bulk;
  • Assembling;
  • Storing, grading, cleaning and mixing;
  • Labelling, packaging and repackaging;
  • Processing;
  • Manufacturing;
  • Telecommunication and information technology;
  • Energy;
  • Financial services and off shore services;
  • Health and veterinary services;
  • Transportation services;

Other activities not listed shall be allowed upon the authorization of the Secretary of State for Trade, Industry and Employment

Emerging Markets: Investment Incentives and Eligibility Criteria

Investors investing in the Free Zones will have the following incentives extended to them:

  • Exemption from all taxes and customs duties payable on all imports provided that the imports, are used or to be used exclusively within the zone, and subject to any other limitations specified by the regulations made pursuant to the Act;
  • Where import duty or sales tax have been paid by a zone investor in respect of any goods on their importation into the customs territory, no refund shall be allowed merely because the goods are to be later transferred into any of the free zones;
  • Exemption of customs duty, excise duty and sales tax on goods produced within or imported into any of the zones, unless the goods are entered for consumption into the national customs territory
  • Exemption of import duty on capital equipment;
  • Full exemption of corporate tax or income tax for the first 10 years from the date of approval of licence in the case of trading activities in the zones, thereafter tax shall be pegged at a rate not exceeding six percent per annum;
  • For activities related to tourism corporate tax or income tax shall be charged at the rate of ten percent for the first 20 years, and shall revert to the normal rate thereafter;
  • Full withholding of corporate or income tax on dividend and other payments during the period of tax holiday;
  • Full relief from payment of municipal taxes;
  • Zone investors shall also be exempted from pay roll tax or other restrictions or prohibitions on import or export trade with the exception of trade in firearms, military or other illegal goods.

Qualifying Business Activities and Priority Investment Sectors

With its liberal and free market economy, and excellent investment opportunities, the Gambian Government has identified a number of sectors as priority areas. These include the following:

Investment Opportunities: Agriculture

  • crops: groundnuts, cashew, sesame, cotton, cereals
  • animal husbandry: livestock, poultry including
  • meat processing, tannery, export of live animals
  • floriculture and horticulture agro-processing

Investment Opportunities: Fisheries

  • aqua-culture: fish and shrimp farming
    fishing and fish processing at industrial level

Investment Opportunities: Tourism

  • eco-tourism: national heritage and others
  • up-country tourism: motels, tourist camps,
  • sport fishing, river cruising.
  • hotel development for a 4 or 5 stars

Investment Opportunities: Forestry

  • development of private/community forest parks agro-forestry plantation.

Investment Opportunities: Manufacturing

  • assembling and packaging processing
  • foundry and forging
  • light pharmaceuticals and cosmetics

Investment Opportunities: Energy

  • electricity generation and distribution
  • renewable energy sources: solar, wind, hydro-energy

Investment Opportunities: Skills Development

  • vocational training: carpentry, welding, masonry
  • development of specialized skills: electronics, computing, others

Investment Opportunities: Other Services

  • financial services
  • off-shore services
  • health and veterinary services
  • river and air transportation
  • information technology

Investment Opportunities: Minerals Exploration and Exploitation

  • petroleum exploration: refer to Petroleum Act and regulations
  • mining of precious stones and others: refer to Mineral Act.

Investment Opportunities: Communications

  • transportation (land, sea, and air)
  • communication equipment