Namibia and Mauritius are exploring opportunities to deepen the bond of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
This was discussed at the Mauritius-Namibia Trade and Investment Forum that kicked off on Monday and concluded yesterday.
The event, organised by the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) in collaboration with the Economic Development Board (EDB) of Mauritius, was focused on micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) development, innovation and acceleration.
NIPDB executive director Dino Ballotti said the forum presented both Mauritius and Namibia an opportunity to co-create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
"Together, Namibia and Mauritius can achieve great things, and I am confident that the partnerships forged here today and tomorrow will contribute significantly to our mutual success," Ballotti said at the forum on Monday.
He said this was just not another delegation being hosted, but a historic government-to-government and business-to-business engagement by two like-minded countries which not only share a proactive, but also intentional approach to collaboration in unlocking the opportunities of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement.
Ballotti said Namibia has potential, as the country recently discovered oil and gas off its coastline, and also has an abundance of natural resources, with a greater focus now, more than ever, on local value addition before international export.
"We have collectively made significant strides in diversifying our economy, focusing on sectors such as agriculture, mining, manufacturing, tourism and renewable energy," the managing director said.
He reaffirmed president Hage Geingob's statement that Namibia is open for business if it is mutually beneficial, and that this could create sustainable local jobs.
" ... and this is where we look to our brothers in Mauritius," Ballotti said.
The managing director also touched on Mauritius' uniqueness with regards to citizenship and location.
"I have read it is the pearl of the Indian Ocean, interconnected between the gateway of both the African and Asian markets."
He said Mauritius has a strong commitment to economic diversification, adding the EDB has been commended for being instrumental in facilitating trade and investment for that country.
"This is where smart partnerships can be mutually advantageous and beneficial as brother countries ...
"So, as brother countries within the Southern African Development Community, we are here to forge meaningful partnerships and to stimulate like-minded trade collaborations," Ballotti said.
Mauritius' EDB director of industry, Geerish Bucktowonsing, said the Mauritian economy continues to reinvent itself.
He said Mauritius has consolidated its position as the leading business and financial services hub in the Indian Ocean.
"It aims to join the league of high-income countries before 2030 by fully exploiting its resources, political stability and strategic location between Africa and Asia," Bucktowonsing said.
Namibia and Mauritius aim to collaborate with companies that operate in the textile and apparel, light engineering, food processing, upholstery, circular economy, pharmaceuticals and chemicals and detergents sectors.