WINDHOEK- Namibian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Balbina Daes Pienaar says trade relations between the two nations are not satisfactory, as current trade volumes only stands at a mere U$20 million (approximately N$278 million).
She made the remarks Tuesday in an interview with New Era on the sidelines of the 9th Session of the Namibia-Zimbabwe Joint Commission of Cooperation.
During the 8th Session, Namibia and Zimbabwe governments agreed to strengthen cooperation in a number of sectors, such as trade and investment, agriculture, fisheries, mining, energy, health, transport, culture and tourism.
“There are challenges in terms of our trade relations. It’s not at the levels as we wish to see trade relations. Trade volumes have been quiet disappointing. Right now at U$20 million. It’s low and there is so much room for improvement. That is why we regard the platform of permanent joint commission as very critical as it provides us the opportunity to take stock of where we are doing well, where we need to improve and refocus our relations, adapting to global changes around us,” Pienaar indicated.
She said there is crucial need to look at the impact of climate change on their relations, not only between Namibia and Zimbabwe, but globally.
Additionally, she said both countries are experiencing calamities - where Namibia is facing severe drought, and Zimbabwe was recently hit by two calamities, cyclone Idai and Kenneth.
However, she expressed satisfaction with the current state of bilateral cooperation between the two countries and underscored the historical and friendly relations that exist.
She highlighted that there are various areas that Namibia and Zimbabwe are trading in.
The ambassador said these include the fisheries sector, leather and pharmaceutical industries.
“Our horse mackerel is doing quite well in Zimbabwe. You will find it on the shelves in almost all the shops,” she stated.
Fish exports continued to play a significant role as one of Namibia’s major sources of revenue.
The Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA)’s report for the third quarter of 2018 shows that fish was among the top five commodities, and the only food item among exports that included minerals such as diamonds and precious metals, ores and concentrates.
Fish exports generated about N$2, 5 billion in the third quarter of 2018, compared to N$2, 3 billion in the same period in 2017.
She said the fact that Zimbabwe has its own pharmaceutical manufacturing companies, it’s an opportunity Namibia want to explore more, as an area in the health sector.
Further, she revealed Namibia managed to export a good number of tonnes of beef in 2009, although it was a once off project.
At the moment, she said the two countries are looking at signing off few more Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and agreements in the areas of trade and investment, fisheries and aquaculture.
2019-07-25 09:20:28 2 months ago