Namibia finds trading in Africa easy – Standard Bank

• Business Reporter

Standard Bank Africa says Namibia finds it easier to trade in Africa than the rest of the world.

According to the Standard Bank Trade Barometer report for June 2022, Namibia had the highest score of 27% compared to 10 other countries in the “very easy” section in Africa against 13% for the rest of the world.

However, it is not only Namibia that is struggling to penetrate international markets, as Africa’s largest economy Nigeria also finds it most difficult to trade with the rest of the world, scoring 43% in that category.

“This Africa Trade Barometer report is one of the most comprehensive research reports on the state of trade on the African continent as experienced on the ground by real African businesses,” said Bill Blackie, the Standard Bank’s Business and Commercial Clients division Chief Executive.

The report offers a comparative view of the enablers and challenges to facilitating trade across 10 key African markets, he added.

Data were collected principally from the World Bank, although underlying data sources ranged from the International Monetary Fund and the International Trade Centre to country central banks.

According to the report, tariffs are a major obstacle to trade within Africa and the rest of the world, while forex restrictions and controls are seen as less severe obstacles to trading.

Notable obstacles to trading in Africa include customs and trade regulations, power outages, and customs requirements (top three obstacles).

“In the rest of the world, severe trading obstacles include customs and trade regulations, customs requirements, and import/export bans,” said the report.

There is poor awareness of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement across all the 10 countries, the report added.

Infrastructure aspects in Namibia are generally rated above average and are not seen as obstacles.

With the exception of Namibia, power outages are a severe trading obstacle for all countries, more so for Nigeria and Tanzania.

The report noted that Asia is the largest source of imports, followed by southern Africa, and Europe. Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa are mostly import from southern Africa.

Except for Angola, the biggest import source is China, followed by South Africa. Also, the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom are common import sources.

For Mozambique and Namibia, the biggest import source is southern Africa followed by an additional 74.8% and 76.7% respectively of imports sourced in the rest of Africa. Furthermore, South Africa sources half of its imports from the rest of Africa.

Support is needed by getting quicker access to funding, flexible loan terms and understanding the clients’ business better.

These three top support measures from financial institutions are extremely important to Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania, but not at all important for Angola, Namibia and South Africa.

Governments in most countries support cross-border trade. The most important government tasks are reducing business tax, lowering customs duties and clarifying customs duties payable.

The role of China varies from country to country, as it is a leading import source and largest in single import volume.

China has a high share of imports, with varying frequency.

China is not a leading export market, with share and frequency differing from country to country.

The Africa Trade Barometer aims at providing reliable data and insights on African markets and economies for businesses and entrepreneurs as well as businesspeople, students, governments, non-governmental organisations and investors considering the continent.

*The Brief