President Hage Geingob has defended the Chinese business community in Namibia and challenged local business people to emulate business practices that some Chinese business persons offer.
Geingob said some of the Chinese businesses operating locally have provided scholarships and decent employment to many Namibians.
He made these remarks on Friday as he witnessed the handing over of scholarships to six students who will further their studies in medical and business administration fields in Jiangsu Province in China.
The event coincided with the courtesy call to State House by Li Xueyong, the governor of China’s Jiangsu Province.
Geingob recalled that many Namibians have in the past complained about Chinese nationals taking away opportunities meant for them. However, the President says he is happy with the way Chinese nationals are conducting business in the country, especially with the establishment of the Namibia Chinese Loving Heart Organisation and Sun Investment Group (Pty) Ltd.
The organisation is funded by business people from Jiangsu Province to financially and materially assist vulnerable groups in Namibia.
Governor Li promised to continue to mobilise resources to support Namibians. Geingob expressed his gratitude for the support provided by the Sun Group to Namibian students to study in China, especially in critical fields such as medicine and science.
There are already 28 students studying medicine and business administration in Jiangsu Province.
Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi, who was present encouraged the recipients to study hard and continue the legacy of doing well to come back home to offer good service to fellow Namibians.
Sun Group promised to increase their funding next year to enable more students to further their studies in China. Governor Li also informed President Geingob that Jiangsu Province – which is China’s eastern costal province – and the Khomas Region entered a twinning agreement towards the improvement of the livelihood of their respective peoples.
Khomas Regional Governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua said the agreement is to promote friendly people-to-people contact in economic and trade cooperation as well as strengthen their exchange programmes in the areas of science, technology, health, education, culture and sport.
She thanked her counterpart for his willingness and commitment to signing the agreement.
New Era understands the two parties had already started initial talks in 2012 and now progressed to a memorandum of understanding that was signed in June 2013.
Li and McLeod-Katjirua signed the agreement on behalf of the two parties and said they need to maintain friendship and promote education and training.
The visiting governor invited McLeod-Katjirua and her councillors to visit China to understand the agreement in detail, which also aims to promote youth development and exchange in training programmes.
He said Jiangsu is the second smallest and most densely populated province in China with a population of 70 million.
Jiangsu Province is known as a focal point for economic development and is a leading exporter of electric equipment, textiles and chemicals. The province is further known for its rice and fish dishes and boasts some of the best gardens and silk weaving in China.