Nam exports goods worth US$22 million to Zim

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Sharon Kavhu

Windhoek - Namibia’s exports to Zimbabwe have significantly increased over the past two decades from US$715 000 in 1995 to US$22 million in 2018, Namibian Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Tjekero Tweya, has said.

Tweya said the development is attributed to the preferential trade agreement between the two countries in 1992 which was aimed at increasing trade relations between Namibia and Zimbabwe. The agreement granted duty and quota free access to a number of classified products such as minerals, vegetable products, live animals and products obtained from live animals, forest products, fish and other marine products to one another.

Speaking during the Namibia and Zimbabwe business meeting last week, Tweya said, “During the initial stages of the preferential agreement, Namibia’s exports to Zimbabwe was minimal and around US$715, 000 in 1995; US$1,2 million in 1996 and about US$1,3 million in 1997. Whereas imports from Zimbabwe during the same periods were US$4,2 million in 1995; US$4.7 million in 1996, decreasing significantly to US$1.7 million in 1997.

“In recent years, I wish to state that Namibia’s exports to Zimbabwe increased exponentially to US$20 million in 2015 and increased further to US$22 million in 2018. The imports from Zimbabwe were recorded at US$3,6 million in 2015 and US$4.1 million in 2018,” he said.

He said Namibia’s main exports to Zimbabwe at the infancy of the agreement were fish and fish products, metal fabrics, water, beer, milk and meat, while sugar, wood and wooden products were imported from Zimbabwe.

Recently Namibia and Zimbabwe signed several Memorandums of Understanding in bilateral cooperation in areas that promote trade between the two countries.  It is against this background that Tweya noted the need for both countries to use the agreements for employment creation, especially among the young people and increase the volume of trade for the benefit of both country’s GDP.

“And as friendly neighbours, we have common interest and common objectives that are to transform our two countries in industrial economies where all our natural resources and products must be manufactured and produced with local beneficiation to eventually export our final products to big economies such as China, India, America and Europe. And this is the hallmark Namibia achieved as the first and only African country to export Namibian beef to China and America,” said Tweya.

“These are the strategic initiatives that will create jobs for our people and reducing unemployment levels. In the forefront of this development must be the youth and they are in succession for political leadership, business leadership and leadership at civil society level and these three sectors of society are intertwined to drive our economy from great to even greater heights.”

He urged the young people in both countries to be at the forefront of both private and public business sector.

Tweya said Namibia and Zimbabwe were conscious to diversify their historic trade relations aggressively focusing on raw material to value added goods. In this regard, the two governments, through their cordial bilateral relations, wanted to forge much closer relations between the two private sectors to expedite trade with speed of execution across all industries to extract maximum returns in favour of both economies.

Of the seven MOUs signed by Namibia and Zimbabwe last week, the two countries agreed to boost the volume of trade by signing the MOU on the operationalisation of the Joint Trade and Economic Committee (JTEC).

 

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