Windhoek – Namibia and the European Union have made firm commitments to continue strengthening their bilateral ties.
The re-commitment comes in the wake of revelations that Namibia exported goods worth US$1.35 billion million to the EU last year, a figure that both sides want to grow.
On the occasion of Europe Day, which is set aside to celebrate the Schuman Declaration to end war on May 9, 1950, EU Ambassador to Namibia Sinika Antila made a plea for greater efforts to cement ties.
“Namibia and the European Union are long-term partners. We believe in rule-based world order and multilateral approach for resolving global challenges,” she said
“I can confirm that the EU has been and will continue to be one of Namibia’s main development partners. In recent years, the co-operation has largely focused on education, agriculture and especially, livestock development as well as trade support, climate change, biodiversity and conservation. We work with the Namibian Government but also with civil society and grassroots organisations. We coordinate closely and work together with EU member states and with the United Nations.”
The diplomat lauded Namibia for being a torch-bearer in media freedom. She also hailed the country’s COVID-19 response mechanisms.
“I commend the Namibian government for your quick and effective containment efforts for the pandemic. I am happy that the European Union could rapidly extend our helping hand with additional budget support and humanitarian aid. We are stronger together. We can only overcome this pandemic by working closely together,” she said.
The Executive Director in the Namibian Ministry of International Relations and Co-operation, Ambassador Penda Nanda, said the EU remained an important partner and export destination.
“In 2019, Namibia exported goods valued at over €1.1 billion (US$1.35 billion). Export products ranged from agricultural products to fisheries as well as mining commodities,” he said.
Ambassador Naanda added: “The Economic Partnership Agreement concluded between the EU and the SADC EPA states, of which Namibia is a member, allows for duty-free, quota free market access from Namibia to the EU with the exception of arms and ammunition.
“Similarly, in 2019, European exports to Namibia were valued at over EURO 425 million (US$517 million), which speaks to the mutually beneficial outcome in trading relations between the EU and Namibia.”