Geingob pushes intra-SADC trade agenda
President Hage Geingob while addressing the Invest in Namibia International Conference in Johannesburg last week, said that African countries have neglected inter African trade this including Nambia trading with other SADC countries.
This visit was part of the president’s tour to promote Namibia to foreign markets, including North America where he returned from last week.
President Geingob said Intra-African trade stands at around 13% compared to approximately 60% and 40 % intra-regional trade that has been achieved by Europe and North America respectively.
“The African Union correctly states that, the fact that African countries do not trade much with each other has meant that they have been unable to fully harness the synergies and complementarities of their economies and take full advantage of the economies of scale and other benefits such as income and employment generation that market integration would have provided,” Geingob said.
At the conference the president made known that in the near future South African business people will receive multiple entry visas on arrival.
“Our people are better off than they were in past decades. While we try to ensure inclusive growth, we are required to mitigate the risks of inequality. Our people need decent jobs, affordable housing, sanitation and access to quality education and basic services,” the President said adding that Namibia face a challenge of inclusive economic prosperity.
The president emphasized that Namibia and its coutnerparts should not be mesmerized by win-win relationsh with international partners but should pursue those relationships amonghst themselves as neighbors.
“All of us are required to act with more urgency to reform processes. We also need to reform our minds and attitudes and pull in the same direction in order to ensure shared prosperity,” he said.
“Let us continue to forge even stronger bonds that will lead our people to a future of shared prosperity and prevent us from perishing together as fools,” he said.
Geingob expressed dissatisfaction that the trade deficit disproportionately tilts in favour of South Africa as in 2014, Namibian imports from South Africa were recorded at N$ 51 billion while exports to South Africa were recorded at N$ 8 billion.
In 2015, the trade deficit widened, and imports were recorded at N$ 62 billion while exports totaled N$ 11.4 billion.
“According to your DTI statistics, South African exports to Namibia constitute 5 percent of South Africa’s global trade. In addition, Namibia contributed around N$ 110 billion in investments to South Africa in the form of pension fund, long-term insurance and other investments in 2015,” Geingob said.