Good Morning, honored guests, ladies and gentlemen. I would like to express my appreciation to Minister Njie for the kind introduction. It is a pleasure to be here today in Banjul to speak to such a distinguished audience at this moment of new possibilities for The Gambia.
You represent a true cross-section of this society—reflecting many different interests but sharing the hopes of all Gambians. These hopes found expression in the peaceful political transition of 2017. In just two days here, I am struck with admiration by the energy, determination, and patience of this nation. You have embraced your country’s challenges and opportunities, and your efforts are beginning to bear fruit. What I have sensed is a road to hope and a bright future. Or, in other words, a pathway to prosperity. This is what I would like to address in the time I have this morning.
Let me first set the stage by offering a quick overview of the economic setting in sub-Saharan Africa and The Gambia. As you know, the region has benefited from solid growth over the past two decades. But the past four years have proven more challenging. We have witnessed a divergence of economic fortunes—with diversified, well managed economies continuing to grow and many resource-dependent countries encountering difficulties.
While this pattern has continued recently, we are seeing regional growth regain some momentum. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that growth in sub-Saharan Africa should accelerate this year to 3.5 percent from 3 percent in 2018. We expect it to expand at close to 4 percent over the medium term. This is good news.
We are very pleased to see that the Gambian economy has rebounded strongly. Growth in 2018 reached 6.6 percent and prospects for sustained growth are positive over the medium term. Inflation has dropped to just above 6 percent, and gross official reserves have increased to about 3 months of imports. This remarkable progress has been achieved through your government’s efforts to stabilize the economy with support from Gambians living abroad, the private sector, and international partners.
There also has been progress in developing infrastructure, which is crucial to ensuring sustained growth. The recently opened Senegambia Bridge, which I am going to visit later today, is a prime example of this progress. It is a symbol of The Gambia’s efforts to deepen economic ties to the rest of the region.
The bridge is also a good segue to the theme of my speech: The Gambia’s pathway to prosperity. As a road, it is a pathway in the literal sense. But it is also a pathway in figurative sense, symbolizing the role of enhanced trade and connectivity in building prosperity. At the same time, domestic policy efforts will be needed to build this pathway.
Enhanced trade is one pillar of the pathway to prosperity. Africa is now moving ahead with creating the Continental Free Trade Area, which The Gambia recently endorsed. This initiative has the potential to boost intra-African trade and growth across many dimensions. It can add jobs, foster competition, help increase investment, and spur the spread of knowledge and technology. All of which could provide significant benefits to The Gambia.
The agreement itself, however, is but one step. To fully benefit from it, the significant nontariff bottlenecks to trade that exist across the region will also need to be tackled. These include infrastructure shortcomings, logistical costs, and other hurdles that hinder cross-border trade.
If these issues are addressed, regional trade integration can help maximize the returns on important public investment, such as the Senegambia bridge, and consolidate the recent pick-up in private sector activity and lending that is integral to sustainable development in The Gambia. On this point, it is important to note that this private sector-led growth needs to be supported through responsible lending by financial institutions to Gambian businesses large and small. Vigilant supervision of banks and other credit institutions will help to ensure financial stability in the face of growing private capital inflows.
Trade integration will also help frame the reforms of this country’s state-owned enterprises. In many cases, the long-term viability of those companies will depend on increasing their regional orientation.
Take the example of the energy sector. The stabilization of electricity output has contributed to your country’s stronger growth. So, the ongoing investment in the electricity transmission not only will link the Eastern and Northern parts of the country, it will also open doors to West Africa’s power networks by enabling cross-border energy trading, including under the flagship OMVG project uniting The Gambia, Guinea Conakry, Senegal, and Guinea Bissau with the aim of harnessing the water resources of The Gambia River Basin to produce low-cost renewable energy for the member countries.
In the same vein, investment to upgrade the port of Banjul could create a new trans-shipment hub for the region. Seen in this context, the Senegambia Bridge could be just one step in the development of the Trans-Gambia corridor within Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Regional integration and cooperation are particularly important for improving the structure of the economy and enhancing competitiveness. Let me offer two examples:
First, agriculture could be an important contributor to The Gambia’s pathway to prosperity. Regional trade integration and improved infrastructure will be key to growing this important sector of the economy.
On Sunday, I visited Radville Farms, outside Banjul and their processing plant and transit facility near Yundum airport. It was great to see how automation and advanced irrigation techniques are helping to produce high-value and high-yielding crops, boosting exports, and providing high-value employment for many skilled workers, especially women.
In the future, weather tracking, satellite imaging and other sophisticated technological solutions (including artificial intelligence) will be needed to modernize agriculture. They will help to create a farming sector that is more environmentally attuned and resilient to climatic shocks. This is especially important for small and fragile ecosystems like The Gambia’s. Agriculture will then be better able to meet national goals of food self-sufficiency and creation of new export markets.
Second, tourism and other services also remain essential to your future. Regarding tourism, it is great to see The Gambiaattracting record numbers of visitors. New hotels, roads, and other amenities will attract more tourists and will help rebrand your country’s tourism offerings, including by branching out into eco-tourism and water sports. The ongoing expansion of transport infrastructure will facilitate tourism, including better connections to the region. These connections, importantly, will also allow goods to move around the region and help develop trade-related services, including re-exports.
Regional economic integration and cooperation will also strengthen The Gambia’s external position. Exports, private capital inflows, and remittances from Gambians working abroad are rebounding and are likely to increase further with regional integration. This will help build foreign exchange reserves and strengthen confidence in the Dalasi.
So, there are grounds for optimism about the economic outlook. The gains we are witnessing will support your efforts to improve the quality of life for all Gambians. We are already seeing progress in the reduction of maternal and infant mortality rates, and so much more is envisaged under the National Development Plan.
This highlights that, beyond regional integration, there are other important areas of reform to move The Gambia along the pathway to prosperity, which are also key for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. I would like to highlight three areas:
First, unlocking financial support from donors is one critical challenge. This can be addressed by resolving The Gambia’sunsustainable public debt situation. In this regard, I am pleased to report that at a recent roundtable meeting in Washington, D.C., most creditors indicated support for debt relief. Your government and its advisors are following up on this development.
Second, fostering inclusive growth and addressing social needs is another priority. This means attacking poverty through programs aimed at aiding vulnerable households and creating jobs for unemployed youth. By lowering debt service costs, debt relief can also create budget room to address these needs as well as other budget priorities, including the reform of state-owned enterprises.
Third, strengthening the rule of law and increasing accountability and transparency will also be crucial steps toward sustainable growth. The Janneh Commission revealed the extent of financial mismanagement and misappropriation during the previous regime. More focused efforts will be needed to recover stolen domestic and foreign assets.
The IMF joins the rest of the international community in applauding the governments’ commitment to transitional justice reform through the work of the Commission of Enquiry and the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission, and the recently established National Human Rights Commission. We also note the plans to establish an Anti-Corruption Commission.
We also join the international community in support of the security sector reforms, which are essential for modernizing the state and strengthening the rule of law.
To conclude, I would like to discuss the role of the IMF.
The Fund provided emergency support in 2017 and is continuing our engagement through a Staff-Monitored Program. In the future we may be able to move to a medium-term program with concessional financing.
In addition, along with international partners and supporting countries, the IMF is strongly committed to helping The Gambia strengthen key institutions, including by providing our technical expertise and training.
It is essential that the assistance of the international community, including the IMF, is closely linked to your country’s development priorities. Please be assured that we stand ready to listen to your ideas and proposals—and to provide all the help we can.
We look forward to working with you as you proceed along your pathway to prosperity.
Thank you for your time and attention. I am happy now, together with IMF colleagues, to answer any questions you may have.
SOURCE International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Arçelik tops DHP Household Durables industry in S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment with highest ESG score
Arçelik’s continuous commitment to sustainability has resulted in the company achieving the highest score for the fifth year in a row
ISTANBUL, Nov. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Arçelik A.Ş. (ARCLK: IST, “Arçelik”), the global leading consumer durables and electronics manufacturer, scored 86/100 (Score date: 22/09/23) in the 2023 S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), which evaluates the world’s largest companies and assesses their sustainability performance and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) efforts.
The company achieved the highest score out of 46 companies assessed in the DHP Household Durables Industry. This announcement highlights Arçelik’s continuous commitment to a sustainable future and places the company once again as the benchmark brand in the manufacturing industry.
The recognition follows the 2023 United Nations Global Assembly Conference (UNGA), where the company has joined the Forward Faster initiative to support acceleration of 2030 goals and made significant commitments in three key areas: Climate Action, Water Action, and Sustainable Finance.
Arçelik has also pledged its commitment to the Science Based Targets Initiative, aiming to become a net-zero company as of 2050 in line with the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) Corporate Net Zero Standard. This means that Arçelik will take a more ambitious step and update its near-term approved science-based targets and set a long-term target according to 1.5-degree scenario.
These net-zero targets will lead Arçelik to reduce its global Scope 1- 2 and Scope 3 emissions by 90% by 2050, using 2022 base year. This will be realised through innovative actions in across its entire value chain. Investing in qualified nature-based and/or technology-based carbon removal projects will address the 10% residual emissions in line with the SBTi Corporate Net Zero Standard.
Commenting on Arçelik’s consistent inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, Hakan Bulgurlu said, “It is a privilege to have achieved the highest score on the DJSI for the fifth consecutive year – this recognition is a significant accolade for our business. Arçelik’s efforts towards building a more sustainable future, not only for our company but also for our customers, are consistently evolving. Sustainability is deeply ingrained in every aspect of Arçelik’s value chain. Our actions are aimed at creating a positive domino effect; it’s about encouraging consumers to make more sustainable purchasing decisions and to incorporate habitual changes into their daily lives. Together, these changes will help shape the future of our planet, society, and health for the better. I am excited about what lies ahead, fueled by our company’s successes to-date, with an everlasting passion to deliver even more positive changes for the future, including fulfilling our science-based targets to reduce our Scope 1, 2, and 3 GHG emissions.”
With its impressive ESG score and ongoing commitment to sustainability, Arçelik continues to inspire other companies to prioritize environmental responsibility, social impact, and good governance practices. By setting high standards and leading by example, Arçelik is making a significant contribution towards building a more sustainable future for all.
Notes to editors
For more information on Arçelik’s sustainability performance, please refer to its Sustainability Report 
ABOUT S&P DOW JONES INDICES AND DOW JONES SUSTAINABILITY INDICES
S&P Dow Jones Indices is the largest global resource for essential index-based concepts, data and research, and home to iconic financial market indicators, such as the S&P 500® and the Dow Jones Industrial Average®. More assets are invested in products based on our indices than products based on indices from any other provider in the world. Since Charles Dow invented the first index in 1884, S&P DJI has been innovating and developing indices across the spectrum of asset classes helping to define the way investors measure and trade the markets.
The DJSI are float-adjusted market capitalization weighted indices that measure the performance of companies selected using environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria. The DJSI, including the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World), were launched in 1999 as the pioneering series of global sustainability benchmarks available in the market. The index family is comprised of global, regional and country benchmarks. Arçelik has featured in the DJSI since 2017.
The full results and list of DJSI constituents are available at https://www.spglobal.com/esg/csa/
For more information about the DJSI methodology, please visit: https://www.spglobal.com/spdji
With over 40,000 employees throughout the world, Arçelik’s global operations include subsidiaries in 53 countries, and 31 production facilities in 9 countries and 14 brands owned or used with a limited license (Arçelik, Beko, Grundig, Blomberg, ElektraBregenz, Arctic, Leisure, Flavel, Defy, Altus, Dawlance, Voltas Beko, Singer*, Hitachi*). Arçelik’s 30 R&D and Design Centers & Offices across the globe are home to over 2,300 researchers and hold up to 3,000 international registered patent applications to date. Arçelik’s vision is ‘Respecting the World, Respected Worldwide.’
- Licensee limited to certain jurisdictions.
HIVENTURES: HUNGARIAN AGRICULTURE ON THE RISE – KEEP AN EYE ON THESE COMPANIES
BUDAPEST, Hungary, Nov. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Central and Eastern European member states play a significant part in the agricultural production and economic performance of the European Union. While the EU’s agricultural policy focuses on supporting the agriculture of the region’s the member states, food safety is becoming a more urgent issue due to climate and geopolitical changes, which encourages the founding of developments within the sector. In recent years, Hungary has seen a significant rise in capital investments in agriculture, in line with current trends. Following numerous successful investments, agro-technological companies producing for export are poised for continued growth. Hiventures, a member of the MFB Group, offers the right financing environment and opportunities for development and expansion.
UBM Holding Nyrt.: As the leading feed industry, grain, and protein crop trader in the region, the company group successfully increased its capital on the Budapest Stock Exchange by approximately 13.5 million euros last year through Hiventures’ corporate investment. This capital infusion has solidified the financial stability of the company group, enabling them to expand not only within Hungary but also into the Romanian and Slovak markets, which will further boost their export market share.
The group has established a presence in Austria, Romania, Slovakia, and Serbia, generating almost half of their sales revenue from export activities. Leveraging high-quality raw materials and collaborating with foreign partners, they produce 14,000 tons of premix annually, in high demand.
Civita Food Kft.: Likewise, the Civita group, which went public this summer with support from Hiventures, aims to enhance its exports and to develop of innovative products. The company, specializing in corn processing, flour, semolina, corn oil, and gluten-free pasta, sees significant potential in the gluten-free foods market due to efficiency advancements.
The group has established a presence in numerous countries in Central and Eastern Europe with its range of milling products and gluten-free pasta. Through innovative developments, their new milling technology allows for the complete removal of the corn germ from the corn grain, making it suitable for pressing.
Szatmári „Rege” Konzervgyár Kft.: Szatmári Konzervgyár Kft. is a key supplier in the EU’s market for fruit and vegetables, preserves and pickles that are processed without preservatives and are sourced from the Eastern Hungarian region, which is particularly important for Hungarian agriculture. More than 70 percent of the factory’s products are sold outside the borders, with pickled cucumbers being a standout product. The raw materials for production are sourced from domestic suppliers, covering approximately 3,000 hectares, with particular emphasis on controlled organic farming required for organic products.
EKO Konzervipari Kft.: The company, also operating in the eastern part of Hungary, has been producing canned products for more than 50 years. Utilizing modern sealing (vacuum) and heat treatment (sterilization, pasteurization) technologies, they produce preservative-free foods, including green peas, sweet corn, canned beans, and various pickled products. Thanks to their reliable and well-established logistics system covering both eastern and western operations, the company achieves an export rate of around 70%. Following a successful financial restructuring supported by Hiventures, EKO has recently entered joint management and ownership with Szatmári Konzervgyár, providing an additional guarantee for quality production and the continued development of both companies.
Due to Hiventures’ reliable and predictable operations, coupled with their educational initiatives, capital investment is gaining popularity not only in the agriculture sector but also among medium and large companies across various industries. Aligned with efforts for economic development, the capital fund manager has contributed to the development of nearly 40 Hungarian companies by disbursing around 100 million euros over the past three years.
PAAMC HK Wins ESG Investing Award for Three Consecutive Years
HONG KONG, Nov. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Ping An of China Asset Management (Hong Kong) Company Limited (“PAAMC HK” or “Company“), the offshore asset management arm of the Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (“Ping An“), was bestowed the ESG Leading Enterprises Awards 2023, recognized in the category of “ESG Investing”. This marks the third consecutive year that the Company has received this prestigious recognition.
As a pioneer embodying Ping An’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategy in our overseas business, PAAMC HK adheres firmly to its commitment to embedding ESG principles at the core of its investment philosophy and practices. In 2019, the Company launched the first China-focused green bond fund in the world, offering global investors with much-needed access to the second-largest green bond market in the world*.
“We are delighted and honored to receive the ESG Investing Award for the third year in a row. This repeat recognition underscores our steadfast commitment to ESG investing and our continuous efforts to create long-term value for our investors while making a positive impact on society and the environment,” said Mr. Albert Wang, Head of Capital Markets and CIO of PAAMC HK. “The three-year winning streak also demonstrates our team’s ability to adapt to evolving market trends and regulatory landscapes.”
Jointly presented by the Chinese Edition of Bloomberg Businessweek and Deloitte, this year’s ESG Leading Enterprise Awards announced and honored the winners on November 23. By recognizing Hong Kong-listed enterprises and asset management companies with outstanding ESG performance, the campaign aims at encouraging enterprises to strive for excellence in ESG practices, ultimately to foster a sustainable business culture with positive impact on the environment and society.
Following a rigorous judging procedure advised by Deloitte that ensures credibility and objectivity, a panel of professional judges assessed the submissions based on participating enterprises’ ESG governance mechanisms, goals and performance, as well as environmental and social initiatives.
* Source: Climate Bonds Initiative, as of 31 December, 2022.
- Arçelik tops DHP Household Durables industry in S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment with highest ESG score
- HIVENTURES: HUNGARIAN AGRICULTURE ON THE RISE – KEEP AN EYE ON THESE COMPANIES
- PAAMC HK Wins ESG Investing Award for Three Consecutive Years
- Ledger and YouHodler SA Announce Strategic Partnership to Expand Ledger Live Services
- Goldpac Debuts Innovative Software Platforms at Trustech Paris 2023
- JENTIS raises €11m Series A to make universal data capture a reality
- Ganjar Pranowo Launches Campaign for Indonesian Presidency
- ACX launches biofuels physical trading platform in ADGM, Abu Dhabi
- GCL SI receives approval for its RMB 4.8 billion private placement from Shenzhen Stock Exchange
- 2023 Carbon Peak and Carbon Neutrality Forum and Shenzhen International Low Carbon City Forum Kick Off
- Bachmann & Welser is an expert in raising project or business funding through Instrument Monetisation — No upfront Payment required
- HX5 Encrypted explain how a simple check can stop a $240 Billion money laundering scandal
- Abu Dhabi Finance Week Charts the Rise of the Falcon Economy with the Launch of Abu Dhabi Economic Forum
- EQT AB’s Nomination Committee for the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting 2024
- Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development Reaffirms Commitment to Worker Productivity Growth and Collaborative Policies
Fintech PR7 days ago
OSN+ and Anghami Sign Landmark Transaction Set to Transform MENA Entertainment
Fintech PR7 days ago
HX5 Encrypted Release Encrypted Messaging Platform for Whistleblowing
Fintech6 days ago
Spool hones in on bringing institutions into DeFi by launching its expansive V2 upgrade
Fintech PR5 days ago
Mutual Fund Assets Market Size to Grow USD 97158 Million by 2029 at a CAGR of 8.29% | Valuates Reports
Fintech PR5 days ago
Mobile Banking Market to Reach $7 billion, Globally, by 2032 at 16.8% CAGR: Allied Market Research
Fintech PR5 days ago
Genpact Launches Artificial Intelligence Innovation Center in London, UK
Fintech PR5 days ago
Discover Top iGaming Trends 2024 in SOFTSWISS In-Depth Research
Fintech5 days ago
MapMetrics expands to peaq from Solana following addition of Solana compatibility to peaq’s Multi-Chain Machine IDs