11 December 2018

Namibia Looks to Attract More Chinese Investment

A NAMIBIA-China Trade and Investment forum will provide a unique opportunity for investors to discover the potential of Namibia by profiling the country's national trade and investment strategies.

Speaking at the one-day seminar in Windhoek last week, Namibia's ambassador to China, Elia Kaiyamo said the meeting was in line with president Hage Geingob's wishes for more Chinese businesses to invest in the country.

Geingob visited president Xi Jinping in China in March this year, where the two presidents agreed to elevate bilateral relations to the highest level of a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

"During his state visit, president Geingob also addressed three separate business forums, in Beijing and in Shanghai, where he stressed that Namibia was open for business," the ambassador noted.

Kaiyamo further said Geingob invited Chinese business people to consider investing in the country in order to fully "optimise the immense untapped potential" that exists between the two countries.

He explained that this can be done by focusing on key areas such as mineral extraction and value addition, infrastructural development, agriculture, fisheries, human resources development, energy, tourism, ITC, market access and trade.

"This forum will provide a unique opportunity for investors to discover the potential of Namibia," he said, adding that the seminar will profile Namibia's national trade and investment strategies, as well as specific business opportunities in all economic sectors.

A project centre will be in place to enable bilateral meetings and group discussions, with on-hand support to facilitate business deals.

"The forum will also enable investors to talk directly with senior government officials and business leaders on how to use Namibia as a hub to access an expanding market of nearly 250 million consumers in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) market," he added.

The ambassador furthermore listed reasons to invest in Namibia as, amongst others, the solid foundations for democracy, good governance, peace and stability.

"We have a business-friendly legal and regulatory framework, and a liberal investment incentive regime," he said, adding that the country has a sound financial system and stable foreign exchange reserves.

In addition, Namibia is an ideal gateway to the SADC regional market via trade agreements, with world-class port, rail, road and air infrastructure, an excellent modern telecommunications network, and efficient and transparent governmental systems.

"Our mission - one that we take on with the greatest pleasure - is to strengthen all aspects of our ties and cooperation, be it from the highest dignitaries through the agencies of government, the vibrant private sector and especially our citizens, to make our relationship reach the fullest potential that we can see ahead of us," Kaiyamo said. The deputy director of investment promotion, Tunga Mboti, gave a presentation titled, "Reasons to invest in Namibia", which provided a historical background on the country, adding that the country's gross domestic product growth rate will increase next year from 1,4% to 2,1%.

She added that export processing zone enterprises are exempted from corporate income tax; there are no duties and value-added-tax on machinery, equipment and raw materials in the country for manufacturing purposes.

The seminar was organised by the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in partnership with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) Hubei sub-council.

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