President Shri Pranab Mukherjee, who is on an official State visit to Namibia, says India, whose economy is rated number 10 in the world, has a lot to learn from the way Namibia developed its tourism industry.
Despite being rated number 10 in the global pecking order, with a nominal annual Gross Domestic Product of US$2 trillion (N$30 trillion), India is rated third in the world in terms of purchasing-power-parity of US$7.2 trillion (N$108 trillion).
Cognisant of the fact the rising Indian tiger has an economy quantified in stratospherical terms, the visiting president said: “There are several areas where India can learn from the Namibian experience. India can learn from Namibia on how it has developed its tourism industry in a sustainable manner.”
“Namibia’s fishing and marine processing industry has several important lessons for the Indian industry. Similarly, there are several areas, such as agriculture, industry, science and technology especially ICT, where Namibia can benefit from the Indian experience. During my visit, I hope to discuss ways and means to strengthen bilateral cooperation in diverse areas,” he said.
“India and Namibia are both developing countries. As we both traverse our respective developmental journeys, we acquire experiences which are unique to us in many ways, but also relevant to each other,” Shri Mukherjee explained.
“Today, India is the fastest growing large economy in the world. My visit to Namibia is also taking place at a time when the Indian government is undertaking a number of measures to boost its economy, especially domestic industrial activity. This provides tremendous opportunities for business, trade and investments, between our countries, which has so far remained below true potential.
“During my current visit to Namibia, I will be discussing with President Dr Hage Geingob all aspects of bilateral relations, including business and trade relations,” the visiting Head of State told New Era.
“Currently, Indian investments in Namibia are in the areas of zinc smelting and mining, railway sleeper manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, packaging, diamond cutting and polishing etc. Namibia has been bestowed with abundant natural resources. I think there is significant interest amongst investors in India to take advantage of the excellent opportunities here.
“The government of India would be happy to facilitate more investments from India to Namibia. However, it should be kept in mind that the current global economic situation makes investors cautious in committing new resources. Attractive conditions and addressing concerns of Indian industry will create a positive environment for Indian investors,” Shri Mukherjee said.
“The Indian economy has several intrinsic strengths, which place it apart from other countries. Large domestic market, strong institutions, demographic advantage, excellent science and technology environment and a sound legal framework for enabling economic activities are some of the factors that place India in a unique position.
“Moreover, our development strategy has all along emphasised capacity building. It is our conviction that economic and social problems can be solved by the people themselves if they have the necessary skills and expertise. Our colonial experience taught us that it is important to develop our own capacity and not rely on others,” he noted.
“India has been a proud development partner of Namibia. Our partnership covers several areas such as agriculture, SMEs, health, education, etc. We intend to further consolidate cooperation in these areas and also extend it to new areas.
“We hope to take along with us all stakeholders, including the private sector in this endeavour. I am confident the joint efforts of the two sides will result in our relations reaching a new high,” the Indian Head of State concluded.
During the visit the high-powered Indian delegation and their Namibian hosts will undertake a comprehensive review of bilateral relations and decide on measures to strengthen and re-energise existing bilateral ties.