Gambia Trade and Foreign Investment

By | July 23, 2022


  • Business Relationships
  • Foreign direct investment
  • FTAs ​​and Treaties
  • Development Cooperation
  • Prospective fields of study (MOP)

Business relations

Trade relations with the EU

The EU as a whole has traditionally been one of the main target markets for Gambian exports. Due to hygiene and phytosanitary restrictions, the export of peanuts and fish to the European market is partially limited.

  • Allcountrylist: Overview of major industries in Gambia, including mining, construction, transportation, tourism, and foreign trade.

The main products exported to the EU in 2020 include fish and fishery products, mangoes, printed books and newspapers, and canned fish. These four products represent 87% of exports to the EU market. Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and France were the main export destinations in the EU in 2020.

The main products imported from the EU include vehicles and spare parts, machinery and equipment, cement and related products, printed books and newspapers, and products from the milling industry. The main countries of origin for imported goods from the EU are Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and the United Kingdom.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from the EU (million EUR) 152.4 131.2 172.5 157 203
Imports into the EU (million EUR) 9.1 15.2 15.8 6.4 11
Balance with the EU (million EUR) -143.3 -116 -156.7 -150.7 -192

Source: European Commission

Trade relations with the Czech Republic

Trade exchange with the Czech Republic is negligible.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 0 0 0 0 ON
Imports to the Czech Republic (billion CZK) ON ON ON ON ON
Balance with the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 0 0 0 0 ON

Source: CZSO

Trade relations with countries outside the EU

Gambia agricultural commodities mainly to China, India and Brazil.

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Exports from countries outside the EU (million EUR) ON ON ON ON ON
Imports to countries outside the EU (million EUR) 456.6 558.7 512 570.2 612.1
Balance with non-EU countries (million EUR) ON ON ON ON ON

Source: EIU, Eurostat

Foreign direct investment

The private sector is of vital importance to The Gambia, one of the least developed countries in the world, where the availability of private capital from foreign and domestic investors is essential to promote sustainable economic growth, increase employment and ensure better living conditions for the population. The Gambian private sector is very active and the government has announced its support for encouraging local investment and attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). There is a government agency dedicated to attracting foreign investment and promoting exports, providing guidance and incentives to all investors whose portfolios qualify for a special investment certificate.

The Gambia’s transition to democracy has led to an increase in foreign investors looking to do commercial and infrastructure projects in the country. To ensure sufficient regulation of FDI, IDLO has been asked to provide state attorneys and relevant government officials with specialized expertise in trade and investment law to provide effective legal advice on transactional matters.

Remittances accounted for 22.3% of GDP in 2020, according to the World Bank.

FTAs and treaties

Trade relations with the EU are governed by the Cotonou Framework Agreement concluded in 2000 between the EU and the ACP countries. Negotiations are currently underway on the form of a new framework agreement, the so-called Post-Cotonou.

The Gambia is a member of both ECOWAS and the WTO.

Since 2018, the world’s largest free trade area: AfCFTA has been created within the framework of the AU. 54 African countries with a population of billion are in the process of opening their markets, starting with the reduction of tariffs on imported goods. The aim is to create a single market for goods and services facilitated by the movement of people. In April 2019, The Gambia became the 22nd country to ratify the AfCFTA.

Developmental cooperation

The Gambia is a net recipient of development aid.

From the EU’s point of view, it represents a partner for ensuring stability in the West African region. Economic and security cooperation is becoming an increasingly important aspect. Since the end of the Jammeh dictatorship and the rise of Adam Barrow, the EU has been supporting The Gambia on its way to democracy, with total support from development funds amounting to €365 million by the end of 2020.

In October 2020, the EU allocated EUR 25 million under the Team Europe package to support Gambia in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to anti-covid aid, the EU Trust Fund for Africa supported a program to strengthen the ICT sector with a sum of just over EUR 1 million. This is the first phase of the DEU program’s efforts to create universal Internet access by supplementing the existing Internet infrastructure with 4G wireless technology.

France is Gambia’s leading bilateral donor and announced €50 million in aid in May 2018.

Prospective fields of study (MOP)

There are opportunities for Czech companies in Gambia in many sectors, as the country’s economy is currently undergoing modernization.

For example, the area of ​​technologies for agriculture and food production (fruit, vegetables, cereals, oils, agricultural mechanics, packaging technology, irrigation systems, storage equipment) may be promising. It imports a large amount of poultry products and eggs into Gambia. Feed mixes, veterinary pharmaceuticals, fertilizers and pesticides are missing. The dairy industry and bakeries have great potential for further development.

Companies in the field of renewable resources can apply in the energy sector. The Gambian government supports science and research and established the Gambia Renewable Enregy Center (GREC). Solar energy, small wind farms and biomass have great potential.

The mining industry is underdeveloped, although the Gambian subsoil contains untapped mineral resources (bauxite, phosphate and petroleum). Here, too, there is potential for the application of Czech products and technologies.

Gambia Trade