The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has urged Namibian businesses to explore opportunities in e-commerce.
According to the US agency, virtual trade will showcase local products to international buyers, where catalogues and prices can be exchanged to enhance potential deals with the US market.
Acting country representative of USAID Mark White made these remarks last week during the opening of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Steering Committee Induction Day.
The workshop built on the important work that started with the strategy’s launch on 10 May 2021.
The strategy, developed with support from USAID, aims to provide a roadmap or recommendations for diversifying Namibia’s exports under the AGOA program.
White explained AGOA as a unilateral trade preference program that provides tariff-free access into the United States for over 6400 qualifying exports from eligible sub-Saharan African countries, including Namibia.
At a firm level, White said, the USAID TradeHub is working with export-ready Namibian firms to meet US market entry requirements, engage prospective buyers and support the facilitation of trade deals.
In the AGOA strategy, key players such as the trade ministry and other stakeholders highlighted priority sectors where Namibia has a competitive advantage or a potential advantage.
“This strategy includes supporting exports and diversifying exports from Namibia to the United States for leather accessories, handicrafts and accessories, dates, meat and meat products, speciality foods, and cosmetics,” White stated.
He assured that the US government will continue to support Namibian firms with market entry and trade-enhancing services to meet US market entry requirements to increase exports from these priority sectors.
“USAID is aiding export-ready firms in Namibia to participate in both physical and virtual market linkage and business-to-business events to engage with potential buyers to showcase their products and start business discussions. These linkages have already led to export deals. We are also building awareness about Namibian firms’ export market achievements through these collaborations,” explained White.
At the same occasion, deputy minister of trade Verna Sinimbo said the strategy and action plan will help Namibia develop her competitiveness by taking advantage of the Generalised System of Preference (GSP) offered under the AGOA regime, which provides eligible countries with duty-free access to the US market.
“Namibia, as a country, will look forward to the initiatives and ideas that will assist the country to derive new focus that will improve and expand Namibia’s export basket to the USA market,” Sinimbo stated.