The use of billboards is very common throughout The Gambia, especially among local distributors of international brands. Given that English is the official language, all signs are in English. However, advertisements on TV and radio are frequently made in local languages. Recently, large companies like telecommunications firms, have begun regularly running infomercials on local television. Newspapers offer another platform for the private sector to advertise goods and services. The Gambian market therefore offers multiple opportunities for marketers and has no language barrier for US companies.
With the introduction of value-added tax (VAT) in The Gambia in January 2013, all prices are inclusive of VAT. The VAT on imported goods in The Gambia is 15 percent. Qualifying investors may be exempted from VAT and other taxes if they meet conditions established by GIEPA. In general, prices of all published goods include all applicable taxes. Goods imported from the U.S. face stiff competition from merchandise coming from Asian markets such as China and India. Given low incomes and correspondingly tight budgets for many businesses and consumers, and the fact that access to credit is limited, affordability is the main consideration when determining pricing.
Sales Service/Customer Support
Customer services is generally poor in The Gambia with little to no resources dedicated to customer relations management. After-sales support for customers is not a standard practice in The Gambia. However, consumers expect some support for sophisticated products such as large household and heavy machinery, major electronics, and IT equipment. Such services are best provided by local distributors. While printed materials may be distributed in English, local distributors that can communicate in local languages are essential to ensure continued demand for foreign sourced goods and services.
Local Professional Services
- Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- The American Chamber of Commerce The Gambia
- Gambia Bar Association
- Principal Business Associations
The main business association in The Gambia is the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) which also accepts U.S. companies to its membership. GCCI advocates for the interest of the private sector and is the main liaison body for raising issues of interest to the private sector with the government. Government agencies and international organizations regularly consult GCCI. Membership is open to all businesses operating in the country. The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in The Gambia is another active business association in the country. Due to the lack of American companies doing business in The Gambia, AmCham Gambia has not yet met thresholds to be formally and officially registered as an American Chamber, though its membership is still open to U.S. companies.
Limitations on Selling U.S. Products and Services
There are no limitations on the selling of US goods and services in any sector.