By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK A Vietnamese fisheries delegation recently arrived in Namibia to share its expertise and learn from Namibia’s fishing sector, especially its fresh water fish farming industry. The visit comes against the background of the global decline in fish stocks. The six-member delegation landed at Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek on Sunday and is led by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam’s Minister of Fisheries, Dr Ta Quang Ngoc. The group, that consists of leading ocean biologists and experts in management planning and international cooperation will this week visit various fish farming projects in the north and fishing factory sites at the coastal towns of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. Speaking to the media shortly after arrival, Ngoc said the purpose of the visit was to build the capacity of their own fisheries sector and to look at mutual ways in which both countries could benefit from each other. “I would like to see the fisheries resources here. Aquaculture is the best way to create jobs for our own people and we are open to Namibia for cooperation,” said Ngoc. The trip comes at the invitation of the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Dr Abraham Iyambo, who visited Vietnam in November 2003. The two ministers signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on bilateral cooperation in the field of fisheries then. The MoU focuses on issues of research, training and business cooperation. The latest visit aims to provide an opportunity to exchange views and ideas on issues of further cooperation, such as consolidating the existing excellent and cordial bilateral relations between the two countries. Iyambo noted that the bonds between Namibia and Vietnam are strong and date back to the days of the liberation struggle. “This venture is just a continuation of our discussions on the MoU and to chart the way forward,” added Iyambo briefly. Yesterday, the Vietnamese officials paid a courtesy call visit on Prime Minister Nahas Angula. Founding President Dr Sam Nujoma visited Vietnam in 2002. At the time, the two Heads of State identified areas of cooperation, particularly in agriculture and specifically rice production in the Caprivi Region, fishing, mining and technical assistance in various areas. As a result an Agreement on Economic Trade, Scientific and Technological Cooperation was signed. The Vietnamese delegation visited the Ecofish freshwater fish farm at Hardap in Mariental district yesterday and the Omahenene/Onavivi Inland Aquaculture Centre in the Omusati Region. Today they will be departing for the Erongo Region where they will visit the National Marine Information and Research Centre, the Merlus Factory in Walvis Bay and the patrol vessel before their departure tomorrow.
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