My Gov’t committed to making Gambia attractive for business  – Barrow

My Gov’t committed to making Gambia attractive for business  – Barrow

President Adama Barrow has reiterated his resolve and determination to make The Gambia a safe and  attractive place for business investment.

The President made this reiterated resolve at the Gambia Revenue Authority’s 6th Edition of the Taxpayers’ Award held on Saturday 2 March 2024 at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Senegambia, where 32 of the most compliant taxpayers in 2023 were awarded.

“I assure the business community that your contribution to the nation goes far beyond the taxes you pay. You are the lifeblood of our economy, by creating jobs, generating wealth, and driving innovation. I assure you further that my government will remain committed to making The Gambia a more attractive place for business,” President Barrow said.

At present, he added, the government has been introducing trade-facilitation measures to streamline international trade, improve efficiency, and enhance Gambia business competitive advantage within the sub-region and Africa as a whole.

“Through GRA and other outlets, my administration will steadfastly translate into action and sustain its commitment to automating all business processes to simplify trade and ease the compliance burden on you,” he assured the private sector, saying:  “To the esteemed recipients of tonight’s awards I say, congratulations on this well-deserved recognition. Your compliance is not just a matter of fulfilling your legal obligation. It shows the degree of your patriotism and commitment to nation building. Wear your awards with pride, for they represent national honour.

“On behalf of my government, I pledge to continue working tirelessly to create a conducive environment for all businesses to thrive. We will continue to invest in infrastructure, improve access to finance, and promote a level playing field for all. Together, we can make The Gambia a hub for investment and economic prosperity.”

Given the nature of the Gambian economy, taxes form the bedrock of the country’s financial muscle, the president said, adding: “The very fabric of our government, our infrastructure, and the essential services we all rely on are interwoven with the taxes you, the taxpayers, pay.”

He said it is the contributions of taxpayers that power the engine of government, thus enabling the government to invest in vital national programmes and build infrastructure to create a brighter future for all Gambians.

“I am filled with immense pride, therefore, to acknowledge the continued dedication and commitment of our business community in providing the tax revenue needed to fund the government’s numerous development programmes,” he said, commending the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) for conceiving the laudable initiative of the taxpayers award and making it an annual event.

He said he had learnt that, since the inception of the taxpayers award, voluntary compliance had improved radically and that it had sparked a “positive competitive spirit”  within the business community. 

“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it will please you to know that, since the inception of my administration in 2017, we have realised a  remarkable 72% increase in tax revenue, rising from D9.13 billion in 2017 to D15.79 billion in 2023,” he recounted, saying: “This is evidence of our sound fiscal policies, our unwavering focus on domestic revenue mobilisation, and the tireless efforts of the GRA Board, Management, and entire staff.”

In his remarks, Finance Minister Seedy Keita commended also GRA for its prudent services to support the government for national development through mobilization of the necessary resources to run the affairs of state.

Source: The Point

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