With a liberal economy, Gambia is open to foreign trade, which was 42% of its GDP in 2021 (World Bank). Gambia’s exports are mainly made of petroleum oils (45.66% of total exports), cereals (14.12%), oleaginous fruits (10.75%), machinery, nuts, fish and vehicles. The country imports petroleum oils (38.48% of total imports), vehicles (10.64%), cereals (7.91%), cement, fats and oils, ships, sugar, machinery and food (ITC, 2021)
Gambia exports its goods mainly to Mali (44.7% of total exports), China (29.1%), Senegal (10.9%), Guinea Bissau, India and Vietnam. The country mainly imports goods from Togo (25.4% of total imports), Ivory Coast (12.4%), China (7.6%), Denmark (6%), India, Brazil and Senegal (ITC, 2021). The country is a member of the World Trade Organisation and of the ECOWAS. It has set a favourable regulation for trade with low customs duties. Its re-exportation activities, which represent a significant part of its foreign trade, are supported by its ports’ efficiency and trade policy. There is, however, low transparency on its customs duties’ calculation. The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) collects excise duties on locally manufactured products (per unit).
The Gambia’s trade balance is structurally negative. In 2021, trade deficit amounted to USD -576 million (World Bank). According to WTO data, in 2021 The Gambia imported USD 607 million worth of goods while it exported USD 32 million worth of goods. It also imported services totalling USD 119 million and exported services totalling USD 104 million.
|Foreign Trade Indicators||2017||2018||2019||2020||2021|
|Imports of Goods (million USD)||549||677||621||695||607|
|Exports of Goods (million USD)||106||140||133||61||32|
|Imports of Services (million USD)||122||101||96||102||119|
|Exports of Services (million USD)||136||197||214||117||104|
|Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||19||18||-2||17||20|
|Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change)||10||44||-11||-46||4|
|Trade Balance (million USD)||-331||-421||-378||-512||-576|
|Foreign Trade (in % of GDP)||53||63||53||48||42|
|Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||37||41||34||38||36|
|Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP)||17||22||19||10||6|
Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.
(% of Exports)
|See More Countries||7.2%|
(% of Imports)
|See More Countries||42.9%|
Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data
|0.0 bn USD of products exported in 2021|
|Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals||45.7%|
|Groundnuts, whether or not shelled or broken (excl...Groundnuts, whether or not shelled or broken (excl. roasted or otherwise cooked)||7.7%|
|Coconuts, brazil nuts and cashew nuts, fresh or...Coconuts, brazil nuts and cashew nuts, fresh or dried, whether or not shelled or peeled||5.6%|
|Machine tools, incl. machines for nailing,...Machine tools, incl. machines for nailing, stapling, glueing or otherwise assembling, for working wood, cork, bone, hard rubber, hard plastics or similar hard materials (excl. machines for working in the hand)||5.2%|
|See More Products||21.7%|
|0.7 bn USD of products imported in 2021|
|Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals||38.2%|
|Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702)||9.8%|
|Fixed vegetable fats and oils, incl. jojoba oil,...Fixed vegetable fats and oils, incl. jojoba oil, and their fractions, whether or not refined, but not chemically modified (excl. soya-bean, groundnut, olive, palm, sunflower-seed, safflower, cotton-seed, coconut, palm kernel, babassu, rape, colza and mustard oil)||3.0%|
|Cement, incl. cement clinkers, whether or not...Cement, incl. cement clinkers, whether or not coloured||2.7%|
|See More Products||40.8%|
Source: Comtrade, Latest Available Data
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Latest Update: September 2023