SA and Namibia commit to strengthening trade

Governments in Africa should be doing more to address low levels of trade between countries on the continent.

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This can be achieved by introducing laws and policies to improve the ease of doing business and movement of goods throughout the region, said Gauteng premier David Makhura, who was a speaker at the Invest in Namibia International Investment Conference launch in Johannesburg Thursday.

The conference provided politicians and business leaders with a platform to discuss trade and investment opportunities between Namibia and South Africa. Sectors such as agriculture, agro-processing and water were identified as a key investment sectors.

President of Namibia, Hage Geingob, appealed to country leaders to strengthen economic and trade relationships on the continent.

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“While we continue to make efforts to attract and retain foreign direct investment, African countries have neglected intra-Africa trade, and in our case [South Africa and Nambia], intra-SADC trade,” said Geingob.

Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe said Namibia was a “natural strategic partner” for South Africa.

To date the two countries have entered into 71 bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding across a variety of sectors, including agriculture.

“There is a need for greater trade integration to boost exports in agriculture and fisheries between the two countries,” said Radebe.