- The United States government has granted The Gambia a textile visa which allows the country to export textile and garment products to the U.S. duty free and quota free under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
Gambian authorities were informed about the "much-awaited news" by a letter from the United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Susan Schwab.
US officials were impressed by The Gambia's determination to "adopt an effective visa system and related procedures to prevent unlawful transshipment and the use of counterfeit documents in connection with shipments of textile and apparel articles to the United States," said Ambassador Schwab.
"Therefore, imports of eligible products from The Gambia qualify for the textile and apparel benefits provided under AGOA."
The textile visa's implementation is guided by the bilateral visa arrangement agreed by the two governments. This requires producers and exporters of textile and garment products to retain appropriate records and provide such records on request by the government of The Gambia.
The West African country has become one of 26 out of the 37 AGOA eligible countries that have qualified for the textile visa, which allows eligible countries to export manufactured apparel to the US. All that the country now needs is to acquire a Category 9 certificate to export hand-woven textiles and ethnic printed fabrics.
Enacted by the Congress in May 2000, AGOA provides a new approach to US trade and investment towards Africa. It enables eligible African countries to export more than 6,400 products to the US duty free and quota free.
The Gambia first became an AGOA-eligible country in December 2002.
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