WINDHOEK - Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development Minister Tjekero Tweya has revealed that Indonesia expressed keen interest in importing Namibian beef to the Asian nation.
Indonesia has over 18,000 counted islands.
Tweya made the revelation when he briefed the media on Monday at State House on the success of his trip when he accompanied President Hage Geingob who travelled to Indonesia for a state visit at the end of August.
From there, he travelled to China to attend the summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) on 1 September in Beijing.
“Indonesia indicated their interest in our beef. Currently they are getting it from somewhere but they are interested in our Namibian beef,” he said.
Therefore, he called up on Namibian farmers to beef up their meat production, saying Namibian beef is in high demand globally.
Equally, he said Indonesians have also shown interest in importing Namibian seafood such as oysters.
Further, he noted the Asian country is currently importing zinc from Namibia.
Tweya said Namibia has the potential to increase its industrialisation in various areas such as electronics and automobile from Indonesia.
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, has the largest economy in Southeast Asia and is one of the emerging market economies of the world.
Historically, during his state visit to that country Geingob said, Indonesia imports Namibia zinc concentrate, while Namibia imports, among others, agricultural products and rubber materials from Indonesia.
Moreover, he said Indonesia has also been actively involved in Namibian trade fairs exhibiting their products.
Further, he said Namibia is ready to avail land for investors who are ready to come and set up factories, which in the long run will create more jobs and grow the economy.
For the FACOC summit, he said Namibia will soon be exporting beef to China.
Early this year, government announced that China has finally agreed to lift the argumentative clause on lumpy skin disease (LSD), which has prevented Namibia from exporting beef to that country.
“We signed first in 2010 to export beef to China. The implementation was challenging itself. At the state visit in March/April, we revised the stumbling block. This time around, we were confronted that “we want Namibian beef”. Fortunately, within the business representatives, we had a chairperson of Meatco as well as the acting MD of Meatco. And we finalised those stumbling blocks why we couldn’t export our beef into China,” Tweya said.
He said Namibia is hopeful that Namibian beef will finally hit the Chinese market, hence he urged farmers to produce more beef, as China is a big market.
Currently, Namibia exports 17,000 metric tons of meat products to South Africa per annum, about 10,000 metric tons to the European Union (EU), and about 1,850 metric tons to Norwegian markets.