Exporting From Overseas:
When shipping and clearing goods destined for Banjul
Port in The Gambia there are certain rules, regulations
and the payment of customs
& excise duties.
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 Tourism Authority.
It maybe useful to know that there are a number of business
consultants who are able to provide market research
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
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.
Many 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 in Banjul.
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 community.
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.
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.