The Gambia is located in Western Africa and occupies an area of 11, 300 square kilometers. It is bordered to the north, south, and east by Senegal, and has an 80 kilometers coast on the Atlantic Ocean to the west.
The country’s borders roughly correspond with the path of the River Gambia. Banjul, the Capital City, is located at the mouth of the River Gambia. It’s strategic location and shipping port provide access to the Atlantic Trade Triangle (one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes) and serves as a trade and transportation center for The Gambia and neighboring countries.
This strategic location is complemented by a modern air and seaport under continuous expansion with improved road networks, a business-friendly climate, and access to a variety of free trade agreements and membership organizations. All of such advantages provide foreign and local investors with unique business potentials for accessing and exploiting market opportunities with a huge regional consumer population of more than 300 million.
PREFERENTIAL MARKET ACCESS AND KEY TRADE PARTNERS
Free trade agreements and membership organizations which enable such market access for The Gambia include the following:
In March 2018, African countries signed a landmark trade agreement, the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA), which commits countries to remove tariffs on 90% of goods, progressively liberalize trade in services and address a host of other non-tariff barriers. If successfully implemented, the agreement will create a single African market of over a billion consumers, with a total GDP of over US$3 trillion. This will make Africa the largest free trade area in the world.
The Gambia is party to the AfCFTA agreement.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is the major political and economic bloc for Western Africa. ECOWAS is a regional group of 15 countries, founded in 1975. The countries include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Republic of Liberia, Republic of Mali, Republic of Niger, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. ECOWAS is considered one of the pillar regional blocs of the continent African Economic Community (AEC).
The main goal of ECOWAS is to achieve collective self-sufficiency for its members. As a member of ECOWAS, The Gambia benefits from the numerous international economic partnership agreements (EPAs), particularly, the ECOWAS–EU EPA, which led to the gradual removal of trade restrictions between the partners.
The Gambia is one of the founding members of ECOWAS.