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Gambia Foreign Investment Incentives Guide
 
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Priority Overseas Investment Areas of the Government:
Although domestic and foreign  investment is encouraged in virtually all the sectors of the Gambian economy, the Government is giving the highest opportunities & priority to, & is especially eager about increased flow of investment into certain areas.



Agriculture, especially in horticulture, floriculture, animal husbandry, fruit/vegetable processing and canning; Fisheries and forestry exploitation; Tourism and travel; Light manufacturing & assembling; Energy (electricity); Mineral exploration & exploitation especially in the country's hydrocarbon potential; Communication and services in light of the new national policies geared towards deregulation, divestiture and opening up of this sub-sector.

No Restrictions:
Notwithstanding Government's wishes in influencing location of investment, the investment and other Government policies do not have any restrictions on the range of business activities in which investors may engage. The government is maintaining its open-door non-discriminatory policy of ensuing that no foreign investor is subject to restrictions that are not applicable to domestic investors and vice versa. The policy also seeks to encourage equity participation of foreign investors as a means of enhancing the spread and transfer of technology, technical, managerial and entrepreneurial skills.

Legal Guarantees:
Within the broad legal framework, the Government assures investors security of title and guarantees that investment in the country will not be expropriated.

Taxes and Administrative Charges:
A number of direct taxes are applicable in The Gambia. There are direct taxes on salaries, real property, income earned from various business ventures and through various sources. There are also exemptions, discounts, relief and tax holidays. The administration of taxes comes under the jurisdiction of the Income Tax Department in Banjul.

Who is Liable to Pay Taxes:
Any person to whom income has accrued, derived from, brought into or received in The Gambia is liable to pay tax on such income in respect of:

a) Gain or profits;

b) Income from any trade, business, profession or vocation that may have been carried out;

c) Gains or profit from any employment including allowances whether payable in money;

d) Dividends, interests or discounts;

e) Any pension, charge or annuity; or

f) Rents, royalties, premiums and any other profits arising from property.

Safeguards Against Double Taxation:
There is a relief from double taxation of any person resident in The Gambia who pays or is liable to pay taxes in any year of assessment in a Commonwealth country. There are also double taxation arrangements entered into between the Government of The Gambia and other countries. Where such arrangement is entered into, residents of The Gambia who are liable to pay taxes in such countries are relieved from double taxation.

These tax relief are made in the form of tax credits. This is to say that only that part of the income which is liable to tax in The Gambia and is also subject to tax in the other country would be granted relief to the extent of the tax in that other country.

• United kingdom
• Norway
• Sweden
• Taiwan

Types of Taxes:
Corporate Taxes
Personal Income Tax
Payroll Tax
Capital Gains Tax
Withholding Tax
Environmental Tax
National Educational Levy
Tax on Contractor
Private Practitioner Tax

Corporate Taxes:
Businesses that make profits at the end of a financial year are to pay corporate tax at the rate of 35% of computed/accepted net profit. Companies that register a loss are charged the turnover tax (2% of turnover if audited accounts are submitted or 3% of turnover of un-audited accounts, whichever is greater) except where a company is exempted as in the case of companies that are issued with the Special Investment Certificate or Free Zones Licence.

Personal Income Tax:
This tax is payable by all businesses to the Treasury. It is the tax on personal income and it ranges from 10-35% depending on the net earning of an employee.

Payroll Tax:
There is a payroll tax in respect of every non-citizen employed in The Gambia. This tax is in the sum of D20, 000 (Twenty thousand Dalasi) and it is payable by the employer of the non-citizen not later than the 1st day of January each year. This tax applies to all categories of non-Gambians except those granted an exemption and those in the public sector.


Tax on Contractor:
There is a ten per cent (10%) tax on the gross fees payable to contractors or sub-contractors for any work or for supplying labour for such work. The person who retains the services of the contractor or sub-contractor is required to make the necessary deductions for this tax.

Private Practitioner Tax:
There is a flat rate tax of D20, 000 (twenty thousand Dalasi) per annum on all private practitioners in the following fields of professional practice:

(a) Accountants
(b) Architects
(c) Druggists
(d) Dental Surgeons
(e) Engineers
(f) Legal Practitioners
(g) Medical practitioners
(h) Pharmacists
(i) Surveyors

Risk Management & Dispute Resolution:
Both local and foreign investors are protected by the laws of the country and where an offence is committed, due legal procedure is applied and investors can have unimpeded access to local and international arbitration.

The Gambia is also a member of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) of the World Bank Group.

The Constitution of The Gambia guarantees and safeguards against nationalization and expropriation of investments. The Investment Promotion Act and Free Zones Act 2001 also contain provisions against expropriation of properties of investors.

Industry Sectors:
Agriculture,
Energy and Mining,
Financial Sector,
Fisheries,
Food and Drink Processing,
Manufacturing,
Tourism,
Transportation

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Incentives & Opportunities:
The Gambia offers attractive incentive packages to investors under the Gambia Investment Promotion Act 2001 & Free Zones Act 2001 for all sectors of the economy. These include exemptions from import duties and tax holidays.

Apart from these specific incentive packages, others can be negotiated with the Agency depending on the strategic nature of the investment. The award of incentives does not differentiate between domestic and foreign investors and all investors are treated equally.

Free Zones Licence:
As a strategy for developing the export potential of the country, GIEPA is also developing Free Zones in specially selected locations to enable investors to operate in an environment that has the ideal set of infrastructure and special tax incentive regimes.

Conditions:-
a) Transactions in the Free Zones shall be denominated in foreign exchange; Investment in the zones should be sufficiently viable both commercially and financially; Sufficient generation of domestic value added to quality finished product for conferment of origin status;

b) Employment generation and training of nationals;

c) Ability to export a substantial portion (70%) of output in foreign markets;

d) Positive contribution to the formation of domestic productive capital;

e) Special attention and encouragement shall be extended to the establishment of single factory or stand-alone free zones outside the Greater Banjul Area.

Incentives Package:
Licence holders shall have the following incentives extended to them:-

a) 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;

b) Where import duty or sales tax has 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;

c) 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;

d) Exemption of import duty on capital equipment;

e) Full exemption of corporate tax or income tax for the first 10 years from the date of approval of license in the case of trading activities in the zones, thereafter tax shall be pegged at a rate not exceeding six per cent per annum;

f) For activities related to tourism corporate tax or income tax shall be charged at the rate of ten per cent for the first 20 years, and shall revert to the normal rate thereafter;

g) Full withholding of corporate or income tax on dividend and other payments during the period of tax holiday;

h) Full relieve from payment of municipal taxes;

i) 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.

Special Investment Certificate:
For the purpose of investing in the domestic economy, the Government has identified a number of sectors as priority areas, and investing in these sectors will give access to attractive and special investment incentive. These sectors include:-

Priority Sectors:
Agriculture , Forestry & Fisheries
Manufacturing
Skills Development
Communication
Energy
Mineral Exploitation
Services (Financial, off-shore banking, Health and Veterinary services, river and transportation, information technology).

Eligibility:
Special Investment Status shall be conferred to investments, which fulfill the following eligibility criteria:

The establishment of a company or partnership under the laws of The Gambia;
Investment in fixed assets of at least ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND United States Dollars or its equivalent at the time of application for the incentives;
Investment must be outside the Free Zones and in one of the priority sectors listed below.

Benefits for Special Investment Certificate Holders:

Investors upon whom “special investment” status has been conferred shall be awarded Special Investment Certificates, which entitle them to benefit from the following incentive package for a period of five years:-

Exemption from withholding tax and tax on dividends;

Exemption from customs duties on the following items:-

The approved capital equipment, machinery, appliances, furniture and fittings imported to be used by the project or business;

The approved quantity of semi-finished products, spare parts, raw materials and other supplies to be used in the production process;

Exemption from the sales tax on the items mentioned in paragraph (b);

Exemption from the turnover tax;

Preferential treatment for land allocation for the site of the proposed investment and the provision of infra-structural facilities;

Special and attractive scheme of accelerated depreciation as set out in the Second Schedule to the Investment Promotion Act.

Labour Regulations:
This section outlines some of the key legislation regarding the employment of workers in The Gambia including the procedures required for the employment of foreigners. It also outlines details of the mandatory National Provident and Pensions Fund and some indicative labour costs.

Labour Legislation:
The legal framework of labour relations consists of the Labour Act, 1990, and of regulations issued there under. The Act covers the general conditions of employment including dismissal as well as recruitment and hiring of labour, registration and training, protection of wages, registration of trade unions and employers' organizations, industrial relations, and procedures for the settlement of labour disputes.

The cost of labour in The Gambia is relatively cheap. The amount of wages paid to employees is determined principally on the basis of a minimum wage structure fixed by the joint industrial councils (JICs) or through the process of collective bargaining involving the worker and the employer in consultation with the Government. The workforce is generally regarded as friendly, hardworking and disciplined.

The Gambia has a liberal policy concerning the employment of foreigners for managerial and technical assignments. Depending on the requirements of the Company, as judged by an allocation committee, the company is allotted an expatriate quota for specific posts for a stipulated period.

A residence permit should be obtained, usually after the arrival in The Gambia of the person (s) concerned. The entry permit covers the immediate members of the expatriate’s family. However, they are not permitted to undertake any employment without prior permission

National Provident and Pension Fund:
Employers are required to enroll their employees in the National Provident Fund or the National Pension Scheme, both administered by a parastatal body, the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC). The Provident Fund provides employees with a lump sum payment at retirement, while the Pension Scheme provides a post retirement pension (which may be combined with a lump sum payment). The statutory retirement age in The Gambia is 55. Contributions to the National Provident Fund are to be made by the employer and the employee, at rates of 10% and 5% of gross salary respectively. By contrast, in the case of the National Pension Scheme, only employers contribute on behalf of their employees at the rate of 19% of gross salary.

Average Labour Costs:
From Factory Worker US$ 47 to
Chief Executive US$ 750

Investment Laws & Regulations:
The Gambia Investment Promotion Act 2001 and Free Zones Act 2001 are the main laws governing investment in The Gambia. These Acts provide guidance on investing in The Gambia and clearly indicate the priority sectors for the country, guarantees to investors, investment incentives eligibility criteria, procedures, the institutional framework and answers to questions that investors usually consider in making an investment decision.

Investment Promotion Act

Free Zones Act 2001

Other Major Laws & Regulations:
In addition to the Gambia Investment Promotion Act 2001 and Free Zones Act 2001, there are other laws and regulations that impact on businesses and these include:

Environment Act 1994
Income Tax Act 2004
Business Registration Act 2004

National Environment Management Act(NEMA)1994, Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticide Control and Management Act 1994, EIA Guidelines, Environment Quality Standards Approved Income and Sales Tax Act 2004

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Disclaimer: Do not rely on any of the above information to make any financial or other decisions, it may also be out of date. The owner of this website shall not be liable for any loss sustained to any person, organisation or any other entitiy whatsoever as a result of reliance on any of the above information.
   
 
   





















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