WINDHOEK – Visiting Vice-President of the Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament Zhou Li says there is room for improvement in trade between the two countries.
The former vice-minister of the International Department and central committee member of the Communist Party of China was speaking at a consultative workshop on socialism with Chinese characteristics in the capital.
Zhou said China and Namibia have established a comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation to further strengthen their bilateral relations in all aspects especially their trade relations in future.
‘’We must try our best to further elevate our trade relations. There is room for improvement and more can be done in that sector,’’ he explained.
Zhou also feels that the transfer of skills to Namibia can be improved so that the African country can start exporting processed and manufactured goods to other countries as they strengthen cooperation with the Belt and Road Initiative.
The two countries signed an MoU last year in August on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which marked a new chapter in China-Namibia relations. The BRI has projects such as the Husab Uranium Mine, the Walvis Bay Container Terminal and several road construction works.
The initiative is aimed at bringing construction funds, high-quality production capacity and advanced technologies to Namibia, promote China’s investment and create more jobs for Namibia.
Zhou said China will invest more in the country by setting up factories to process materials with local resources and start exporting them to neighbouring countries and China. This way skill transfer will gradually take place with job creation for the locals.
China firmly upholds free trade and its rules are based on the multilateral trading system, he said. The Chinese government supports necessary reforms for the World Trade Organisation and believes it is critical to upholding the organisation’s core values and fundamental principles of openness, inclusiveness and non-discrimination and ensure the development interests and policy space of developing countries, he said.
Earlier this year Namibia became the first African nation to export beef to China when it transported the first 21 tonnes of beef to the world’s largest consumer market.
China could be an important market for Namibia as it imports 6.5 million tonnes of beef, 250 000 tonnes of mutton, 2.3 million tonnes of pork and 1.7 million tonnes of chicken per annum.
In 2016, Namibia and China signed the milestone agreement that will see A-grade beef enter the massive Asian market, making it the only country in Africa to export beef to that country.
Zhou hopes to strengthen cooperation between civil society and local think tanks, while he is also on a fact-finding mission to gauge Namibia’s expectations from the bilateral agreements already in place.
2019-09-09 09:16:57 7 days ago