Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has signed a series of agreements with the Qatar, including a tax exemption deal for prospective business activities between the two countries, but also comprising accords on income tax and air service charges.
The signing took place during the second day of a state visit to Doha by President Jammeh for talks with the Emir of Qatar, HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, that revolved around establishing closer trade ties between the two countries.
Gambia’s Daily Observer also reported the holding of talks between the Gambian Minister for Presidential Affairs, Dr Kalidou Bayo — who doubles as the head of the civil service — with a Qatari business delegation to elaborate on the potential investment opportunities.
Qatar’s ambassador to The Gambia, Mohamed Nasser Al-Kaabi, noted Doha’s commitment to cooperation with its West African ally back in January.
At the time he noted their cordial bilateral relations over the last two decades and expressed the need to “uphold this momentum”, while lamenting the lack a Qatar Airlines to Banjul.
“With that in place, I think it will be more attractive to the Qatari investors to establish more business in The Gambia,” he said, referencing the existing involvement of Qatar’s Katara Hospitality.
In March, President Jammeh also headed a mission to Saudi, where the leader met with Crown Prince Salman, the deputy premier and minister of defence for Saudi Arabia, and visited the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) together with a trade mission.
Gambia’s leader of twenty years expressed optimism over what was his first visit to Saudi Arabia since taking office as potentially “fruitful when the objective of the visit becomes manifest in the livelihood of Gambians, and in terms of infrastructure.”
“So there is going to be a lot of activity, interaction between the Gambian private sector and the Saudi private sector,” he continued, adding that the visit could be compared to a recent successful visit to Turkey where promises were also made and kept.
President Jammeh’s Qatar trip was coloured in Gambia’s own media by Hamat Bah, leader of the opposition National Reconciliation Party (NRP), who took to the stage to denounce the government for preventing a UN human rights team investigation into prison conditions within the country.