By: Kebba AF Touray
As part of efforts to strengthen ties and promote trade facilitation between Guinea Bissau and The Gambia, Mr. Dominico Sanea, the Director General of the Bissau Guniean Customs paid visited the GRA Commissioner General on Friday 16th October, 2020.
He was accompanied by his Technical Advisor Amadou Diop. The visit was facilitated by Bakutobo Sillah, a Business Executive with Abdou Jeng of the Jiboroh Customs Post.
Yahya Manneh, Director Technical Services, presented on the GRA model, history, structure strategic focus and mandate of the Authority.
He said the GRA is composed of Customs and Domestic Taxes with six other support departments. He said collects 60 percent of government revenue which is a fundamental pillar in building a modern country.
Acting Commissioner of Customs also expressed similar sentiments. Commissioner General Darboe, encouraged the learning of best practices among the two sister institutions and governments which is the best way forward for sustainable development.
He also encouraged his counterpart to endeavour to earn political support from the Bissau authorities as means of enabling them sustain efforts in meeting the revenue targets set for him.
Mr. Essa Jallow, Deputy Commissioner General and Head of Domestic Taxes used the opportunity to also express delight with the diplomatic visit and further encouraged the two nations to work on mechanisms to address the challenges in the cashew trade, which he decried is currently facing serious challenges.
The visiting Bissau tax administrator, Mr. Sanea expressed satisfaction with the expertise of his Gambian counterparts and called for the two administrations to develop an MOU, to start working on building and promoting a long time relations between Gambia and Guinea Bissau.
In his welcome remarks, Commissioner General of Gambia Revenue Authority, Yankuba Darboe, expressed his profound appreciation for the visit by his Bissau counterpart, stating that it will go a long way in cementing ties and strengthening bilateral trade facilitation between the two countries.
CG Darboe said: “This is critical given the huge trade that takes place between Banjul and Bissau. Today’s meeting being the first of its kind between the two administrations is a welcomed development in the context of regional integration and addressing challenges in the free movement of people and goods”.
Mr. Darboe also proposed the setting up of a joint Technical Working Committee, comprising officials of the two states to further cement the relations and promote free trade between the two countries.