The Basics From Overseas:
shipping & clearing goods destined
for Banjul Port in The Gambia
there are certain rules, regulations and the payment of customs
& excise duties. If you are looking for buyers or sellers
of products and services see importers
For those intent on starting a
business one could register as a company or sole trader which
involves fairly straight forward procedures however, you are advised
to use the services of a lawyer in the case of companies.
For large investments such as a
factory, a plantation etc. you may want to use the services of
the country's investment agency called Giepa.
To establish a beach bar or hotel, lodge or other type of accommodation
you will need to contact the Gambia
It maybe useful to know that there are a number of business
consultants who are able to provide market
Please note that with regard to defence
armaments there is an Ecowas Moratorium on the Import, Export
and Manufacture of Light Weapons which affects Gambia.
Office Opening Hours:
Government hours 8 am to 4 pm
Business hours 9 am to 5 pm
Friday is half-day closing 12.30 pm more...
The Basics Within the Country:
Despite many imponderables there are a few practical tips and
cultural protocols related to doing business in The Gambia for
the prospective investor, importer
• Pace of Activity
and trade moves a lot slower in the Gambia so you must apply some
patience in all your business dealings. Firstly, when you meet
someone to discuss business you should go through the greeting
ritual first without seeming to rush it. After this you can get
down to talking. Keep any interruptions short and down to a minimum
while another person is speaking.
In Gambia the business concept of "time is money" is
approached in a very relaxed and flexible manner. People do not
rush through business negotiations and often do not take the time
to plan everything in great detail. Punctuality is not always
observed, as businessmen do not like to feel hurried and do not
have the western sense of urgency. A good idea is to call people
on the phone just before leaving for your meeting.
Gambians pray five times a day and in some workplaces separate
rooms are set aside for this. There are however varying degrees
to which Islam influences Gambian business culture, but it is
essential to remember its influence when working with your counterparts
• Working Relationships
Business relationships are based on trust and familiarity. Personal
contacts and networks are important in making business deals.
Cultivating friendships will improve your success in the business
Society places a great emphasis on age and respect. You must always
show respect towards elders in society.
If you do not agree with your business partner try to say it in
a way that it will come across as non-confrontational.
• Other thoughts & notes
A lot of business is done outside the office.
Gambians like to establish relationships.
Since 2003 substantial infrastructural progress has been made
(such as the construction
of new roads, street lighting, schools
and hospitals. International aid remains essential to the country.