Windhoek-With its mandate of volume creation, the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) continues to introduce international companies to the Namibian market by providing them with a platform to engage local industries.
“Brazil, being the closest and most industrialised international market by sea to the SADC region, offers a lot of opportunities to our logistics hub initiative,” explains WBCG CEO Johny Smith.
Smith noted that as traction is picked up on the Namibian logistics hub concept, international interest in this gateway into Southern Africa continues to build.
At a recent information session hosted by the WBCG in Walvis Bay, three Brazilian companies presented their company profiles to representatives from the mining, fisheries, manufacturing and logistics sectors. The companies stated their interest in working with Namibian entities to facilitate imports and exports of Namibian and Brazilian products.
After the initial profiling session, the potential clients met with individuals from both the private and public sector to identify co-operating partners based on their services and capabilities. Ricardo Latkani, WBCG business development representative in Brazil, explained that one of the Brazilian companies, Zaltana Pescados, is interested in importing Namibian hake to Brazil and exporting fresh water fish to the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
“The second Brazilian company, Enaex Britanite, is looking into possibilities to set up warehousing for mining detonators and explosives and investing in infrastructure projects. The third company, Teccoil, expressed an interest in establishing an assembly line of alternators and engine starters,” he said.
These opportunities are well-aligned to the regional industrial value chain initiative that WBCG is working on through the Spatial Development Initiative (SDI).
With a gross domestic product (GDP) of US$1.796 trillion in 2016, Brazil is the world’s 7th wealthiest economy. It is also the largest country in area and population in Latin America and the Caribbean, with close to 207 million people, and its continuous internal growth demands investments in areas such as urban and social development as well as transport infrastructure.
Brazil is a well-developed industrial country and its strong domestic market is less vulnerable to external crisis, with Brazilians benefiting from stable economic growth, relatively low inflation rates and improvements in social well-being.
Since setting up a branch office in Sao Paulo in 2012, WBCG has been exploring and developing the trade route as an alternative for imports and exports between South America and Southern Africa.
“As Walvis Bay provides the shortest link to connect the massive Brazilian economy to the Southern African market, it is sensible why economic partnerships of this nature are on the horizon,” Latkani explained.
He added that a new business delegation from Brazil is also set to visit Namibia in November 2017.