Netumbo on mission to promote trade with Angola

Tujoromajo Kasuto

A memorandum of understanding on trade cooperation was signed between the business chambers of Angola and Namibia.

Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Of International Relations and Cooperation, who signed the agreement during a visit to Angola this week says the agreement is to promote trade and investment between the two neighbours.

The Deputy Prime Minister was on a trade and investment promotion mission to Angola.

“It is a fact that an agreement without implementation is just as good as no agreement. We therefore call on those responsible to ensure the full implementation of those instruments.”

She maintains that the countries cannot think only in terms of export and import, but should look at integrating the value and supply chains to derive mutual benefit for both nations.

“We all know the value chain is what has made Europe what it’s today. Our economic activities also need to involve greater value-addition and beneficiation, with more focus on manufactured and agricultural goods.”

The minister notes that the two countries should take advantage of the opportunities presented by the SADC Free Trade Area and the African Continental Free Trade Area, as they are at the heart of the collective efforts to promote greater investment, trade and economic integration of the continent.

Nandi Ndaitwah was accompanied on the trade mission by over 40 business personalities, representing different sectors and industries, such as mining, energy, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, transport, logistics, finance, banking, health and retail; among others.

She said they had fruitful discussions with her Angolan counterparts and they have identified bottlenecks to economic cooperation and agreed to find best ways to address them.

The minister expressed the hope that the business people of the two countries build on the engagements to forge business partnerships and capitalize on their individual and collective capacities to increase economic cooperation between Namibia and Angola.

“As Governments, we can only be the facilitators for business, but the business people are the driving force for greater economic growth and shared prosperity for our two nations. Fortunately, our two countries already have strong foundations for enhancing business-to business collaboration.”

The two countries have also concluded several agreements, including the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation and the Agreement on Reciprocal Protection and Promotion of Investments, which seek to create a conducive environment for business to thrive in both countries.

The main purpose of the Trade and Investment Mission was to explore potential business and investment opportunities, create networks for sellers, buyers, agents, suppliers, and address some of the challenges and barriers affecting trade and investment between the nations.

It was also to empower business people from both countries to enable them to make a meaningful contribution to economic growth for sustainable development.

Namibia-Angola relations are rooted in a shared history of the struggle, blood and sacrifice. The two countries not only share a common people, heritage and culture, but a common border.

Angola and Namibia are both members of the same regional and international bodies, such as SADC, African Union, and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

These demonstrate a vision of working together towards achieving common objectives via regional and global platforms.

Such objectives include the development of a better regional infrastructure – which both nations desperately need; regional economic integration; and, most importantly, regional peace and security.

Nandi-Ndaitwah says it is her belief that the relationship between the two countries is one that is sacrosanct, quoting the adage that, “you cannot choose your neighbor, but you can choose your friend“.

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