Foreign investors urged to add value to local products

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United States and Canadian investors who are in Namibia on an official trade mission have been encouraged to explore the possibility of beneficiation of the country’s primary products to help diversify the Namibian economy.

“Government’s encouragement of the value addition to natural resources, such as the mining and agricultural sectors, will not only enhance exports of quality industrial products into the world economy but will also stimulate the growth of parallel industries, technological advancement and human capital development,” said Bernard Esau, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources and acting Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development.

Esau was speaking yesterday in Windhoek at the official opening of the trade mission meeting with United States and Canadian businessmen who are in the country to explore investment and joint venture opportunities with Namibian small and medium enterprises.

Esau specifically encouraged the visiting businessmen to investigate the establishment of partnerships with the local business community.

Esau said that the industrialisation ministry caters for larger market space for Namibian products through negotiations of preferential market access arrangements such as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) of the USA.

“I want to emphasise that Namibia welcomes the initiative of the US government for the extension of AGOA instruments and I have confidence that this extension will greatly advance investment and trade links between Africa and the US. “Furthermore, I am keen to see that this initiative will support already existing endeavours such as the Abuja Treaty that propagates the economic union of Africa, as well as regional economic groupings such as SADC, ECOWAS, COMESA and the East African Community,” said Esau.

Esau said that he was promoting Namibia as a gateway for doing business with markets in the SADC region.
“Companies that plan to invest or set up their headquarters in Namibia are making a wise investment decision as the stable climate that our country provides will ensure long-term success and potential for expansion due to our country’s proximity to major markets in the region and the continent at large.”

Also at the official opening of the trade mission meeting, Namibian Ambassador to the United States, Martin Andjaba, said the embassy in Washington DC organises trade missions on an annual basis.

Andjaba urged US and Canadian businessmen to introduce themselves to their Namibian counterparts and to consider investment and partnerships.

Some of the sectors the visiting businessmen are involved in include medicine, education, information technology, media, housing, solar energy and water purification.