The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Republic of Namibia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Trade and Economic Cooperation on Thursday, 30 November 2023. The agreement, which is considered testimony to the cordial relationship between the two countries, aims to fortify bilateral ties between the African and South American nations.
Industrialisation and trade minister Lucia Iipumbu and her delegation arrived in Venezuela on a ministerial mission on Wednesday. She was received by Venezuela’s vice minister for Africa in the foreign affairs ministry, Yuri Pimentel, as well as vice minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Promotion, Johann Álvarez.
Entering into this MoU with Venezuela is expected to benefit Namibia through economic intelligence and information exchange, the development and exploitation of trade, industrial cooperation as well as investment opportunities. Venezuela and Namibia established diplomatic relations on 22 May 1990.
A statement issued by trade and industrialisation ministry spokesperson Elijah Mukubonda said this important mission is aimed at enhancing trade and economic cooperation between the two countries. The visit is further intended to follow up on the commitments and talks within the framework of the first Venezuela-Namibia Joint Commission of Cooperation (JCC) which took place in March 2023 in Windhoek. These talks have specifically identified economic areas of interest encompassing trade, agriculture, mining and housing.
Ties between the two countries were further strengthened by the assuming of the presidency by Commander Hugo Chávez, resulting in the signing of 22 cooperation instruments in politics, education, culture, library services, communication, mining, oil, agriculture, housing, women and gender equality, electoral processes, and social development.
Namibian products with export potential to Venezuela include fresh grapes, dates, fish, beef and salt, as well as minerals (marbles, uranium and diamonds). Venezuelan products with export potential to Namibia include petroleum, coffee, heavy pure woven cotton, sugar, wheat and rice.
Although the United States imposed sanctions on Venezuela years ago, these sanctions were eased during October this year, including those relating to Venezuela’s oil, gas and gold sectors.
The US government’s action comes in response to commitments made by representatives of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro and an opposition coalition in respect of future elections in Venezuela.
The US has temporarily suspended sanctions applied to oil and gas sector operations in Venezuela, including transactions involving Petróleos de Venezuela, the Venezuelan state-owned oil and natural gas company, and any of its 50%-or-greater owned entities.