Regional Trade Looks Up

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By Betha Madhomu WINDHOEK The Deputy Director for External Trade Policy and Relations in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Willem Nekwiyu has expressed satisfaction over Namibia’s trade with other countries in the SADC region. In an interview, Nekwiyu told New Era that there has been a positive contribution by companies towards Namibia’s trade industry although he would not specify to what extent. “We can’t say to what extent the country has made profits for that would need a critical analysis. But yes, it has brought a lot of benefits to the country including job creation,” said Nekwiyu. He admitted, however, that Namibians had a tendency of getting hooked up to South Africa and not exploring other markets, saying this was as a result of the inherent attitude of Namibians. “The problem that we are facing in this country is that if somebody deals with a particular market, they tend to focus on it and fail to explore other business avenues. Colonial links also affect our performance. Most companies are subsidiaries or joint ventures or agencies of companies in South Africa. As a result, their interest is more in that country than anywhere else,” he said. Nekwiyu pointed out that the country had market access to a lot of countries in the world but the challenge was industrialisation. “Once we have our own products, marketing won’t be a problem. It’s unfortunate that the country has been failing to attract foreign investors and to have entrepreneurs who are willing to get into industry and joint ventures,” he said. Namibia is well known for its exports in beef, fish, grapes, textiles and clothing as well as mineral exports among others to countries such as Zambia, Angola, Zimbabwe, and Kenya.

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