Representatives of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Namibian Manufacturers Association (NMA) recently presented trophies to the two winners of the first-ever Namibia Exporter of the Year Awards that was held virtually on 5 August 2021.
Plastic Packaging was adjudged the overall winner, as well as winner of the Exporter of the Year: South Africa market category, while Meatco won Exporter of the Year: United States market. The awards recognised the excellence and innovation of Namibian firms in reaching export markets in South Africa and the United States, respectively. Presenting the trophies were Mark White, acting USAID Country Representative for Namibia, and Ronnie Varkevisser, the CEO of NMA. Nico du Plessis, managing director, received the trophy on behalf of Plastic Packaging. Mwilima Mushokabanji, the CEO, received the trophy for Meatco.
Plastic Packaging is a Windhoek-based market leader in a range of plastic and packaging products, all manufactured in Namibia. Meatco is a Namibian meat processing and marketing entity, specialising in niche markets locally and internationally with premium quality products. Plastic Packaging will now compete for the Southern Africa Regional Exporter of the Year later this year against other national Exporter of the Year winners from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia. The awards are part of a collaboration between the US government through the USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub and the Namibian Manufacturers Association. At the trophy handover ceremony, Ronnie Varkevisser reiterated the commitment of the NMA to continuing the partnership with the USAID in staging the annual awards going forward, noting: “The Exporter awards are an important milestone in recognising the valuable work that export firms play in Namibia, and we are glad to partner with the USAID TradeHub in this regard and look forward to our future collaboration to grow the awards”.
Minister of Industrialisation and Trade Lucia Iipumbu, and acting USAID country representative Mark Anthony White represented the Namibian government and the United States, respectively, at the virtual award ceremony.
NMA and the USAID TradeHub will continue to help Namibia export firms to increase exports through providing support for firms to overcome complex market entry requirements and connecting them with South African and US companies.