Walvis Bay — Second-hand vehicle imports contributed at least N$150 million to the economy during 2012.
A record 20 000 vehicles were moved via the Walvis Bay corridors during 2012.
Second-hand or used vehicles were destined for Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, according to information availed by the Walvis Bay Corridor Group.
The N$150 million generated from the income of vehicle imports represents an increase of more than 100 percent in revenue compared to the previous year.
According to the chief executive officer of the Walvis Bay Corridor Group, Johnny Smith, the current shipping services provide both left-hand and right-hand vehicles from markets such as Europe, the UK, the US and Asia to Namibia and neighbouring countries.
He added that the growth in the import of vehicles to neighbouring countries has built confidence amongst importers to utilise the deep-sea port of Walvis Bay for the import and export of other commodities as well.
"In order for us to further grow the market for the Walvis Bay corridors it is important that Namibia focuses on improving its transport infrastructure and trade facilitation services continuously, as it will provide much needed income for the economy in the short, medium and long term," he said.
He added that three years ago most of these vehicles were transported via other transport corridors in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
Smith explained that customers have found a shorter and safer alternative to transport their vehicles to their local markets.
"This has resulted in an immense economic benefit to the Namibian community, most specifically small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Smith is of the opinion that the local business communities of Walvis Bay such as the port, shipping and logistics fraternity, accommodation and food establishments, service stations and other service providers benefit directly from the import of vehicles via the port.