By: Kebba AF Touray
Mr Solo Sima, Director of Consumer Affairs, has said the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has issued 15 re-export licenses since the commencement of issuance of petroleum re-export licenses in 2017.
Mr. Sima said this on Monday 29th March 2021, while delivering welcoming remarks at a meeting with officials of the Malian National Petroleum Office (ONAP), who are currently in the Gambia for a week visit.
“The purpose of the visit is to discuss ways and means of bilaterally enhancing export of petroleum products between our two countries. This development is indeed premised on the opening up and creating of the enabling environment by the Gambia Government,” he said.
Sima said the main country of destination has been Mali with the considerable volumes enhancing trade significantly between the two countries. He said this can be easily explained through the close fraternal relations that the Gambia shares with Mali dating back to centuries.
He remarked that the visit will allow the two nations to strengthen relations at institutional level and help them share experiences as regulators and industry actors, to harmonize their efforts and standards as one people and one region, which will be targeted at looking into issues of non-technical barriers to trade that may exist.
Mr. Issa Kondo, Head of Malian Delegation and Director of ONAP, hailed their Gambian counterparts for the warm welcome accorded to them, saying Mali is a continental country which is not close to the coast. As such, he said, they need to diversify their resources so as to help their country to better harness its resources.
“That is what has necessitated our visit and we have started this diversification process a long time but had some hitches. We will devise ways of deepening ties between the two nations in addressing those hitches and that the visit will help address those hitches,” he said.
Kondoa expressed hope that at the end of the meeting, a lot of issues will be fixed and that commerce between Banjul and Bamako will be expanded.