WINDHOEK – Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Tjekero Tweya, has called for an intensification of strategic alliances between Namibia and India to yield tactical outcomes fast-tracking industrialisation and prosperity for the two countries. Tweya expressed these sentiments on Friday while speaking at the official opening of the 9th Global Summit ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ in the Indian state of Gujarat. The summit themed ‘Shaping a New India’ is being held at the Mahatma Mandir Convention Centre in Gandhinagar and was attended, amongst others, by Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
“Namibia and India’s bilateral trade recorded a steady increase over the past years. Indian companies have invested in Namibia through sectors such as mining, infrastructure development, agriculture and manufacturing,” Tweya told the gathering comprised of Indian and African ministers, business delegates and the diplomatic corps.
“We have adopted the Special Economic Zones policy which offers great incentives for foreign direct investment; and we invite potential investors to come and explore investment opportunities in Namibia. We have peace and tranquility, we have high regard for our rule of law; we have plenty of state land to offer investors in sectors such as energy, manufacturing, health, tourism, agro-processing, blue-economy, amongst others,” said Tweya.
He noted that Namibia’s presence at the summit is testimony that the diplomatic relations between the two countries signifies the strategic importance Namibia attaches to India.
“In this regard, India has uninterruptedly pursued capacity building initiatives through the ITEC (Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation) programme as well as other bilateral agreements to benefit the people of Namibia,” Tweya added.
During a state visit by former Indian President Shri Pranab Mukherjee to Namibia in 2016, the two governments signed two Memorandum of Understandings to establish a Centre of Excellence in Information Technology in Namibia and to build a partnership between the Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (Nipam) and the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad.
Tweya also reminded summit delegates that Namibia ratified the African Continental Free Trade Agreement in November last year to expose its relatively small population of 2.4 million people to the bigger market of 300 million in Sadc and eventually to a market of 1.2 billion Africans.
“With the doors of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement opening very soon, Africa will allow for the free movement of African products, African services and African people to increase intra-continental trade with a big single market of 1.2 Billion instantly,” Tweya concluded.