Nam and Angola Expect Better Trade

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By Wezi Tjaronda WINDHOEK The Joint Trade Committee between Namibia and Angola is now in place, paving the way for the flow of tradeable goods between the two countries which, until now, have been minimal. The committee was launched yesterday, two years after the two governments signed two agreements on Trade and Economic Cooperation and Reciprocal Protection and Promotion of Investments in 2004, which made provision for the establishment of the Joint Trade Committee. Namibian Acting Minister of Trade and Industry, Erkki Nghimtina, and Angolan Minister of Commerce, Dr Joaquim Icuma Muafumba, and their delegations held talks from Monday until yesterday to agree on modalities related to the establishment of the committee to facilitate the implementation of the Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement. The committee will identify potential sectors and areas of trade and investment and develop implementation programmes, identify products with the possibility of gradual tariff reduction and to establish rules of origin of these products, to attend to trade facilitation necessary to improve the free flow of goods and services and to deal with and negotiate n matters related to Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures to ensure compliance with national and international provisions. The two agreed to put in place a memorandum of understanding between the Customs and Excise and the administrations of the two countries to facilitate the movement of goods and services to resolve the current difficulties the traders are facing. “The Customs officials of Namibia and Angola are to meet within 45 days to process the MoU on Customs Cooperation and to analyse the offensive lists of the two countries,” the communiquÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚© produced at the end of the three-day meeting reads. MTI Permanent Secretary, Andrew Ndishishi, who read the communiquÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚©, told the media yesterday that the two countries would hold workshops in 2007 for entrepreneurs to understand the business opportunities arising from the agreement. “The Committee undertook to meet for further consultation and information-sharing early 2007. “One of the agenda items is the workshop on information-sharing between private and public sectors of both countries,” the communiquÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚© reads. The meeting also discussed the membership of the joint committee and its working modalities. It further said the committee was established within the framework of the Namibia-Angola Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation to deal with matters of interest in facilitating trade and supporting the private sector. The committee comprises the Ministries of Trade and Industry; Agriculture; and Finance of Namibia, Ministry of Commerce of Angola; and the two investments agencies of the two countries, namely: Namibia Investment Centre and ANIP of Angola. The committee will meet twice a year, while an extraordinary committee can also be convened to resolve specific urgent trade investment issues when the need arises.