During his recent visit in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) CEO, Tarah Shaanika, discussed various issues pertaining to the trade relations between the two countries.
NCCI engaged Congolese President Laurent Kabila, the DRC CCI Albert Yumva, as well as the private Congolese sector to address all related issues and create a favourable environment that will create free trade and access between Namibia and the DRC.
President Kabila has thus decided to address all the issues raised during those meetings and a copy of the discussions has since been forwarded to President Hifikepunye Pohamba.
“The DRC is a strategic and desirable market for Namibian business, so we are very pleased to have the commitment from both heads of state,” Shaanika notes.
The issues touched during the meetings include the establishment of a bilateral commission on trade and economic co-operation for the purpose of identifying the bottlenecks and challenges affecting commercial activities.
The existence of duties applicable on products have also proven to be a serious hindrance to increased trade volumes, prompting the two countries to negotiate a bilateral agreement to reduce and eliminate import duties for strategic products [still to be determined by the two governments].
Other issues raised are of the delays experienced at clearance of trucks at the borders, which negatively impact the turnaround of trucking time and the costs of transport.
Concerned delegates also discussed, amongst others, the removal of visa requirement for citizens of both countries to increase commercial activities between the two countries.
Shaanika also points out there has been a growing interest of both countries' private sectors to invest in each other’s economies. Therefore, he urges both governments to design policies aimed at providing a better environment for the citizens of the two countries to invest in their respective nations.