Namibia, EU trade scales greater heights
By Hilary Mare
In 2019, Namibia exported goods to the European Union (EU) valued at over N$19 billion with export products ranging from agricultural products to fisheries as well as mining commodities, Ambassador Penda Naanda, executive director at the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation has said.
Naanda was speaking last week at the official Europe Day commemorations in Windhoek.
He further highlighted that similarly, in 2019, European exports to Namibia were valued at over N$7.2 billion which speaks to the mutually beneficial outcome in trading relations between the EU and Namibia.
“The Economic Partnership Agreement concluded between the EU and the SADC EPA States, of which Namibia is a member, allows for duty free, quota free market access from Namibia to the EU with the exception of arms and ammunition,” he said.
The annual Europe Day commemorates the Schuman Declaration of May 9 1950, calling on the nations of Europe to unify and make war in the continent no more possible. It further calls for long-lasting peace, collaboration and collective efforts towards a better future.
The vision of partnership has since been extended to other nations, such as Namibia, with the common goal of providing support and sharing best practises that is key for inclusive development and shared prosperity.
Hosted under the banner ‘Stronger Together’, the event celebrated the strong relationship between Namibia and the EU, showcasing EU’s involvement through various projects in the country and enabled the local community to engage with the EU and its five member states represented in Namibia (Finland, France, Germany, Portugal and Spain).
Also speaking at the event, European Union (EU) Ambassador to Namibia, Sinikka Antila said that EU has been and will continue to be one of Namibia’s main development partners.
“In recent years, the cooperation has largely focused on education, agriculture and especially, livestock development as well as trade support, climate change, biodiversity and conservation. We work with the Namibian government but also with civil society and grassroots organisations. We coordinate closely and work together with EU Member States and with the United Nations.
“One example is the cooperation with Germany and the government of Namibia in the area of vocational training which opens new opportunities for young Namibians seeking training, employment and a good income,” she said.
In the lead up to day, the EU co-hosted events in partnership with various stakeholders. Europe Day kicked off with the Youth Opportunity Forum organized in collaboration with NUST, UNAM, Franco Namibian Cultural Centre, GIZ, Goethe Institute, Museum Association of Namibia as well as JABU Logistics and OPERFIN Technologies.