China-Gambia ties enter new stage, ambassador says
Gambia-China relations have entered a new stage of development within the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, with bilateral relations growing strongly in recent years, said Masanneh Nyuku Kinteh, Gambia's ambassador to China.
Speaking at the opening of the virtual Gambia-China Economic and Trade Cooperation and Exchange Conference on Monday, Kinteh said the two countries recently signed a new trade agreement that grants duty-free treatment to some Gambian goods exported to China such as fish, groundnut, cassava, sesame and cashew nut.
"In June 2018, Gambia and China convened their first Joint Commission on Economic, Trade, Investment and Technical Cooperation in Beijing to facilitate formal bilateral economic and trade engagements between our two governments," Kinteh said.
"Gambia has noted with satisfaction the progress in trade, investment, development assistance and human resources cooperation within such a short period since the resumption of diplomatic ties. However, we wish to see more Chinese companies invest in Gambia, to create job opportunities for our youths and the general well-being of our people."
The ambassador said the Gambian embassy's efforts in organizing the online event demonstrates the commitment to promote trade and investment opportunities in Gambia, and to further strengthen and expand the cordial relations that already exist between Gambia and China.
Fatou Kinneh Jobe, the deputy head of mission of the Gambian embassy in Beijing, said the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative will provide Gambia with more trade and investment opportunities.
"We are optimistic that both Gambia and China as good partners in the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation will continue to broaden the areas of investment and cooperation," Jobe said.
Zhang Yujing, president of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products, said Gambia has a good business environment and a high degree of market freedom. He also noted that the political situation has been relatively stable and the economy has maintained rapid growth in recent years.
China has become Gambia's largest trading partner. In 2020, bilateral trade volume between the two countries reached $570 million.