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7 September 2010 | Nick Martindale
Buyers in Southern African states could benefit from new sources of supply after the Namibian government announced plans to boost the number of private businesses and create an Export Promotion Agency.
Speaking at the Ongwediva annual trade fair in August, deputy prime minister Marco Hausiku said the government was currently developing a national export strategy.
He also confirmed that the government had now established the Namibian Board of Trade, which will help the country meet its obligations to the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU), which aims to maintain the free interchange of goods between member countries.
A SACU spokesperson said the board of trade would be able to suggest any changes to the common external tariff applied across member states, which could then be voted on by the SACU council.
Hausiku said one of the main roles of the board would be to develop the private sector and encourage more people to start up businesses. “The government expects to see more involvement of the private sector in these initiatives as our country addresses the challenges of unemployment, poverty and provision of better services to our people, especially those in rural and urban areas,” he said.
Jackson Kapuka, procurement manager at Namibian Ports Authority, said: “International trade promotion would mean much-needed skills transfer and development for locals leading to enhanced employment creation, provided there are guidelines and regulations to govern the trade and investment parameters.”
Many of Namibia’s exports are destined for South Africa, with diamonds, minerals, fish, meat, clothing and light manufacturing goods the main products.
The Namibian Department of Trade and Commerce refused to comment.