By Hilary Mare
THE Namibian government has struck deals to import horticulture products from Zimbabwe, and export beef to the neighbouring country.
The agreements, signed at the 8th Namibia-Zimbabwe Joint Permanent Commission last week are aimed at improving the lives of ordinary Namibians and Zimbabweans.
Zimbabwean Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Joey Bimha, also highlighted that the two countries would send missions to each other, to inspect the facilities relating to these agreements.
“Under the economic cluster, we focused on the boosting of trade, concerning the exportation of fresh food and vegetables by Zimbabwe to Namibia. Namibia will send a delegation to Zimbabwe to inspect the areas for these exports.
“Similarly, in this area of agriculture, Zimbabwe is expected to dispatch a veterinary delegation to Namibia by 30 June, to inspect Namibian facilities from which Namibia plans to process beef exports to Zimbabwe,” Bimha said in a statement.
Namibia’s Deputy Prime Minister and International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Netumbo Nandi–Ndaitwah, stressed the need to implement all the agreements signed by the two countries.
“We want to ensure that all decisions agreed on will be efficiently and effectively implemented, within the timeframe agreed upon,” she said.
Bimha also encouraged the customs authorities of the two countries to conclude the negotiations and agreements, aimed at the implementation of a preferential trade agreement.
In the mining sector, the two countries are expected to conclude a memorandum of understanding on geology, mining and metallurgy by April 2018.
Concerning the training of Namibians at the Zimbabwe School of Mines, the Land of the Brave will undertake a market assessment, to determine the skills gaps in the mining industry, before resuming the programme.
While Namibia’s total trade in 2016 stood at US$13 billion, its trade with Zimbabwe was valued at a mere US$24 million.
President Hage Geingob decried the low trade levels between the two countries, during his State visit last week to Zimbabwe, and called for a redoubling of efforts to boost bilateral trade.
Geingob added that trade was not only low between the two countries, but also across Africa, because the continent mainly produces and exports unprocessed goods.
He called on African countries to create linkages that accelerate industrialisation on the continent.
Geingob also called for the removal of barriers to trade, as well as barriers that hinder the free movement of labour.
He also called for the creation of strong regional value chains, to enable the continent to compete globally.
“To address burning challenges, such as high unemployment in Africa, we have to expand our industrialisation and value chain capabilities,” Geingob added.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015