Windhoek - The bilateral relations between Namibia and Japan are expected to deepen in the areas of investment and economic cooperation, The Southern Times, has learnt.
This comes after bilateral talks between Namibian President Hage Geingob and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe at the sidelines of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), held in the port city of Yokohama last week.
During the talks, Abe pledged a grant of N$42 million from his government to Namibia for equipment to be used in the vocational education sector. Japan also promised to assist Namibia with disaster relief.
Information from the Namibian President’s Office shows that President Geingob hailed the new dimension of the bilateral relations of the two countries.
He acknowledged the long standing relationship between Namibia and Japan, highlighting the key roles played by the latter in training Namibians during the liberation struggle.
Geingob also noted how Namibia is focused on the struggles for economic emancipation which he said will be won by building investor confidence, creating a conducive business environment and becoming a destination choice for tourists, international business and investors.
During the TICAD Summit, Geingob also highlighted the essence of public-private partnerships in the economic growth of Africa.
In his remarks at the public private business dialogue, Geingob said, “Namibia is an open-economy and ready to do business. Our economic growth trajectory is centered on a dynamic private sector. We have for this reason adopted legislative frameworks to leverage public-private-partnerships to enable inclusive growth and shared prosperity.
“Africa is open to do business with Japan. Africa is open to do business with the world as demonstrated through the established India-Africa Summit; China-Africa Summit; US-Africa Summit, and the first Russia-Africa Summit due later this year.”
He, however, noted that those who wished to do business in Africa must do so on the terms of the Africans.
Geingob said Namibia was striving to remain a competitive economy as evidenced by recent developments at the Walvis Bay port, among other developments.
“Just recently, I inaugurated the expanded world-class container terminal at the Port of Walvis Bay, making the port among the top three on the Atlantic west coast, between Lagos and Cape Town. Namibia is well positioned as a gateway into Sub-Saharan Africa. We offer excellent logistics, with dry port facilities for landlocked countries, making them sea linked via transport corridors into the SADC region of 300 million consumers,” he said.
“A month ago, we announced key public policy reforms to enhance the ease of doing business and facilitate the movement of goods and services. These reforms have bolstered investor confidence, resulting in important private sector commitments in the economy.”
The TICAD Summit was held under the theme “Advancing Africa’s Development through People, Technology, and Innovation”.
Geingob participated at the summit alongside other African heads of state and leaders of multilateral organisations.
In 2016, the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development Summit was held at Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.