President Hage Geingob yesterday reiterated his earlier call that engagements between countries should go beyond traditional niceties and focus on achieving common national interests through economic activities, such as increased exports, imports, investment and trade.
Geingob made the remarks during a dinner he hosted in honour of visiting American councilwoman Ivy Taylor, who is the mayor of San Antonio. “Earlier this year, during our Foreign Policy Review, I informed our Heads of Missions that it is time we undergo a paradigm shift in our approach to diplomacy and international relations,” he said.
“It is for this reason that I do not believe that one can travel to an economically significant country, like the United States, once a year simply to deliver a statement at the United Nations. Had I decided to do that, we would not have established the contacts and friendship that we share today; a friendship which I believe will not only be mutually beneficial from the human and cultural perspective, but from the economic perspective, as well.”
Geingob noted Taylor had listened to several presentations related to the business environment in Namibia and the opportunities in trade and investment the country has to offer. “Namibia, like the rest of Africa, is on the march. We’re marching ahead in attaining socio-economic advancement, as per our targets in our Vision 2030, National Development Plans and the Harambee Prosperity Plan.”
“Furthermore, we espouse the ideals contained in the continental and global development agenda, such as the African Union Agenda 2063 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.” He was confident that Taylor’s visit would help plant the seeds, “that will sprout and blossom into fruits of economic opportunity for years to come”.
“As you may recall during our discussions in San Antonio, I informed you that although – as a country – we have made tremendous progress in terms of our governance and macro-economic architecture, gaps still remain in terms of our socio-economic architecture.”
It is for these reasons Geingob said Namibia is keen to pursue economic cooperation with countries, states and cities from all over the world in the hope that these partnerships will lead to relationships that serve as catalysts for sustained growth and job creation.
“It is my sincere hope that the partnerships and deep ties of friendship between the cities of San Antonio and Windhoek, as well as between San Antonio and Namibia, will continue to grow and flourish in the years ahead,” he said.