During a state visit to China a week ago in which President Hage Geingob accompanied by over 60 delegates for business talks, the two heads of state expressed satisfaction in the current level of bilateral relations that is steadily growing from strength to strength between Namibia and China.
After various talks with different stakeholders in the People’s Republic of China, the two states decided to elevate the bilateral cooperation framework between the two countries to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership that would be based on equality, mutual respect, reciprocal benefits and common development between the two countries.
Geingob briefed his counterpart of Namibia’s strategic plan to position herself to become a logistic hub in the SADC region. In this regard, the Chinese President Xi Jinping reaffirmed China’s support to Namibia.
The visit featured a number of bilateral instruments which were signed between the two states.
The two states signed for the extension of an existing agreement on the establishment and operation of the China Space Tracking, Telemetry and Command Station in Namibia. This agreement was signed by Itah Kandjii-Murangi, Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation.
A further MoU on Cooperation Mechanism between the Export-import Bank of China and the Ministry of Finance was signed by Calle Schlettwein, Minister of Finance. The corporation would entail grants and concessional loans, public and private investments, cooperation in tax and customs administration. For now, no loan agreement has been entered into.
Another instrument signed is the Protocol between the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry of Namibia and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the China on Inspection. Quarantine and veterinary sanitary requirements for beef will be exported from Namibia to China. Under this protocol, Namibian beef will be free to enter the Chinese market and Namibia would be the first African country that will now be able to export its beef to China thus diversifying its market. This will ultimately require local farmers to be more innovative and produce more.
On financial matters, the two states signed for an extension of the drawdown period and repayment period of the interest free loan for housing stipulated on the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation.
They also signed an agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation of Grant between the governments signed by Obeth Kandjoze, Minister of Economic Planning. To a certain extent, this agreement is aimed at formalizing the implementation of Project already on course. Hence the RMB 300 Million that is part of the agreement is for the construction of adata receiving ground station, 4 schools and other projects that will be mutually agreed upon.
Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) and the Chinese counterparts also signed four Memorandums of Understanding. The first was the Memorandum of Understanding between NCCI and Shanghai Federation of Industry and Commerce. Secondly, a Memorandum of Understanding on Mutual Cooperation between Namibia Chamber of Industry and Touchroad International Holdings Group.
Another was the China Council for the promotion of International Trade Shanghai Sub – Council and Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry with the purpose of developing contacts both between institutions as a means of contributing to the development of trade, economic and investment relations between Namibia and Shanghai.
Finally, a Memorandum of understanding between the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Beijing Urban Construction Road and Bridge Group CO. Ltd was also signed.
The Namibian Head of State extended an invitation to his counterpart Jinping to visit Namibia at a time to be agreed through diplomatic channel. Jinping accepted the invitation.