Source: President in Namibia for 3-day State visit | The Herald July 25, 2019
Tinomuda Chakanyuka in WINDHOEK, Namibia
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa is in Namibia on a three-day State visit, which coincides with the signing of seven bilateral agreements between Harare and Windhoek.
He was welcomed at Hosea Kutako International Airport by Namibia’s Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.
He was later welcomed at the State Guest House by his Namibian counterpart, President Hage Geingob.
President Mnangagwa’s visit to Windhoek is preceded by the hosting of the 9th session of the Zimbabwe-Namibia Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation (JPCC) during which the deals were thrashed out.
Presidents Mnangagwa and Geingob will today witness the signing of the seven bilateral agreements aimed at boosting trade between their two countries.
Some of the agreements include terms of reference for joint trade and economic committee between the two countries, cooperation on the promotion of small and medium enterprises development and mutual customs assistance agreement.
Other agreements include the sharing of information, and another between the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) and Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI).
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Dr Sibusiso Moyo said the agreements will strengthen existing economic ties between Zimbabwe and Namibia.
“We had various discussions, from political, economic and social in the joint commission. I can assure you that it was a gorgeous discourse with our counterparts and we ended up with seven agreements which are going to be signed tomorrow in the presence of the Heads of State.
“These (agreements) will definitely invigorate economic relations between the two countries,” he said.
Dr Moyo revealed that in the joint commission, Namibia had expressed interest in importing horticultural products from Zimbabwe.
“They are also very eager to import quite a lot of our vegetables and citrus fruits. These are some of the issues that they want from our country.
“The good thing about it is it is going to be accompanied by a business delegation from the Zimbabwe Chamber of Commerce which is also going to sign its own agreement with Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Namibia Press Secretary Alfredo Tjiurimo Hengari described President Mnangagwa’s visit as “. . . an opportunity to further strengthen bilateral relations between Namibia and Zimbabwe, including new possible areas of cooperation”.
President Mnangagwa’s visit will also see him officially opening Zimbabwe’s Dry Port Facility at Walvis Bay on Friday.
The US $3,5m Dry Port facility was built on a 19 000 square metre piece of land given to Zimbabwe on a lease agreement of over 50 years.
Dr Moyo said the Dry Port facility has potential to open a strategic gateway to the sea for Zimbabwean industries.
“We believe it (Dry Port) is very critical. It provides alternative sources of logistical ports into the country. It gives shorter routes to West Africa, South America and Europe.
“What is important is that our industrialists must now get organised and explore logistics options which are competitive in terms of their markets.
“We are expecting that as we have our diplomats out there they are going to be seeking for markets which will then be feeding back into the country so that we can then have products which are going to be moving.
“It is going to be dependent upon our own industrialists to export their products using this port, or even import raw materials,” Dr Moyo said.
Zimbabwe’s trade volumes through the Port of Walvis Bay were estimated to have grown to about 2 500 tonnes per month in 2008.
The Walvis Bay Corridor has been viewed as an alternative to link Zimbabwe to Europe, North America as well as South America.
President Mnangagwa is accompanied by the Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting services Monica Mutsvangwa, among other top Government officials.
The President was seen off at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport by Vice President Kembo Mohadi, Government Ministers and service chiefs.
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