Sunday 18 April 2021
  • :
  • :

Boost for Namibia and Chinese trade

Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) inked a memorandum of understanding(MoU) that aims to boost trade relations between the two countries.
Speaking at the China- Namibia business networking seminar this week, NCCI Director Dr Esther Akwaake said: “This move is important to Namibia in the sense that, it is a platform where we are going to acquire skills and knowledge technological wise in order to improve business in the country. If they (the Chinese) can bring solar technology to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), it will go a long way to alleviate the high cost of electricity which many cannot afford.”
Thus potential for renewable energy in Namibia lies in its sun intensity and open spaces to harness wind and solar power.”
Over the years, the trade balance has not been impressive on the Namibian side and by so doing, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, together with CCPIT reached a consensus on areas of cooperation like manufacturing industry, Mining and Energy, Agricultural sector, Tourism and Transport and Logistics.
“China will assist in cooperation with Namibia to create business opportunities and more investment flow”, said CCPIT Vice Chairman Zhang Wei.
Speaking at the same occasion, Namibia Investment Centre (NIC) Deputy Director Tunga Mboti stressed the importance why China and other foreign investors should engage with Namibia in business relations – mainly because Namibia is located strategically with a young and trainable workforce. Furthermore, Namibia is said to have a sound and democratic governance structure which enables a conducive environment for investors compared to other countries in the region.
“We, as NIC are the first port of call for investment both domestic and foreign. By so doing, we have a law that is applicable to both local and foreign investors. As such, we also facilitate and promote joint venture partnerships by means of providing information on priority sectors and site selection”, said Mboti. NIC is represented in countries like South Africa, Germany, India, France and United States of America for the purpose of finding markets for Namibian products.
According to statistics from NIC on economic indicators, Namibia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) currently stands at N$161 billion, while the GDP per capita is N$69,279 million- which accounts to 6.7% inflation rate. During the period 2007-2015, the GDP growth rate was at 4.5%. The main industries contributing to GDP are: Fisheries and beverages with the highest 57.9%, followed by mining with 17.6%, meat and animal products-17.4%, and tourism with 7%.
Minerals, fish, fish products, meat and beverages are considered as main exports to destinations like United States of America, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Italy and China. The country heavily relies on exports as a means of revenue income. Main sources of imports are: South Africa, Germany, Italy, Japan and China.
As a member of Southern African Customs Union (SACU), Namibia has signed a number of trade agreements within Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) which gives market access to about 300 million people. In line with this, preferential access to key markets include duty free access to countries like South Africa, Botswana and Lesotho.
In the mining industry, which is one of the important catalysts in promoting industrial base and value addition to all natural resources it is expected that jobs for youth will be created while, “the government has come up with attractive incentives in sponsoring the training of skills for local Namibians”, adds Mboti. The agricultural sector which contributed 3.4% to national GDP in 2016, mainly from crop and livestock farming, is likely to offer numerous opportunities for investment in irrigation technologies, processing of meat, cultivation of fruits and processing of vegetables and fruits.
Namibia is currently rated number 6 as one of the best tourist destination in Africa. As a unique destination with vast open space, desert, sea, wildlife, cultural diversities and highest dunes, Namibia offers investment in health tourism like conference facilities, lodges, hotels, cruise ships and sport adventures.
Furthermore, Namibia in terms of transport and logistics in Southern Africa has a key competitive advantage in terms of its proximity to Trans- Atlantic markets.
Regarding the mining sector, Mboti stressed the need to establish a well and progressive mining code with the objective of value addition being coordinated here in Namibia and shifting the focus from exporting of raw materials.
The signing of an MoU between China and Namibia is not new – it dates back to a decade ago which resulted in an increasing number of Chinese enterprises setting up small retail outlets to sell relatively affordable consumer goods imported from China.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *