Staff Reporter Windhoek-Chinese Ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, has described as “significant” Namibia’s political and economic achievements since the country became independent 27 years ago. In a statement availed to New Era, as the Chinese Embassy celebrated the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Zhang noted, “As the youngest country in Southern Africa, Namibia’s achievements over the past 27 years are significant. It has been at the forefront of Africa concerning political democratisation, social governance, legal construction and economic growth. “Now, it is one of the most dynamic countries in Southern Africa, one of the most favoured investment destinations and one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the world.” On the two countries’ bilateral relations, the ambassador, who was appointed a month ago, said though they are geographically far apart, “China has always seen its relationship with Namibia as one of the priorities of its African policy. Over the years, our two countries and two parties have maintained traditional friendly relations.” On China’s development aid to Namibia, he said China has availed billions of Namibian dollars to the Land of the Brave, of which more than N$20 billion is in Chinese grants. Large projects funded by grants include Youth Training Centres, the Hadarp Aquaculture Centre, the Chairman Mao Zedong School while contract projects by Chinese companies have contributed greatly to infrastructure improvements, such as China Harbour’s Walvis Bay Container Terminal project, which will make Walvis Bay an important hub in the region. On the Husab Uranium Mine, he said it generated more than US$4.8 billion in investment and created more than 6 000 jobs during the construction phase. Once in full operation, it would contribute to an extra GDP growth of five percent and an export increase of 20 percent and annual taxes of US$200 million. “In addition, we will increase our investment on agriculture, new energy, tourism, youth training and other projects that will create more jobs and improve people’s livelihood. And by doing that we wish we could help Namibia achieve sustainable development,” Zhang said. Despite these positive developments and the strong mutual political trust that exists between the two countries, Zhang bemoaned the fact that “negative media reports on China and Chinese people [have] become more frequent than before.” Despite these “growing pains”, he suggested the two countries continue maintaining a high degree of political mutual trust and that the two should strengthen the existing pragmatic win-win cooperation and people-to-people exchange. He also assured that the Chinese government supports the rule of law in Namibia, and the Chinese Embassy has started sensitising and educating Chinese employers to comply with Namibian laws, including tax and labour laws.
2017-09-28 10:10:23 11 months ago