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.

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.

“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.