Windhoek – Namibia imported products from Portugal worth N$94 million last year, while its exports to Portugal over the same period – consisting mostly of fisheries products – were worth N$326 million.
This was revealed by Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maureen Hinda at a media briefing yesterday. Accompanied by Portuguese Deputy Minister Foreign Affairs, Teresa Ribeiro and her delegation, Hinda said fish and fish related products continue to dominate trade between the two countries.
She said there is need to deepen trade and economic cooperation in order to ensure balance in benefits to the people of both countries.
Ribeiro and her delegation arrived in the country on Friday to renew, among others, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding Portuguese language courses for the Namibian police that expired last year and the MoU regarding Portuguese as a foreign language for Namibia students.
According to Hinda, other pending agreements being negotiated between the two countries that are expected to be signed in due course are the agreement on Air Namibia transport between the two countries, a cooperation agreement in the field of internal security; a protocol between the Portuguese Ministry of Home Affairs and the Namibia Ministry of Safety and Security on police training, as well as cooperation between both countries in the fields of culture, education, science, sports, youth and media.
“There are still potential areas of cooperation that our two countries can explore, such as the ‘blue economy’, ship building and maintenance, tourism, agriculture and research, information exchange and training,” she said, urging the business communities to establish joint ventures.
On her part, Ribeiro thanked Namibia for the support it has rendered especially during the United Nations secretary general (SG) elections that will see former Portuguese prime minister António Guterres replace Ban Ki-moon at the beginning of next year.
Ribeiro also welcomed the reopening of the Embassy of Portugal in Namibia, saying she hopes Namibia will soon open an embassy in Lisbon, Portugal. She said since the onset of diplomatic relations in 1991, Namibia and Portugal have enjoyed cordial bilateral relations and she thanked Namibia for that.
Furthermore, Hinda urged the Portuguese government to support Namibia in its bid to the host the African Regional Hub of the Green Climate Fund, as the country’s bid has already been endorsed by the African Union.
“We have lost our bid to host the world headquarters of the Green Climate Fund to South Korea, but we wish to count on your support to host the African Regional Hub of the Green Climate Fund,” she said.
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) funds developing countries to cope with the impacts of climate change. However, before any country is allocated funds, it has to pass an audit so that it is accredited before it can receive any funding through the GCF.