31 General Murtala Muhammed Avenue, Eros, Windhoek, Namibia
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“There is greater scope for both private and public sector involvement in all aspects of ‘dry port’ and corridor development. Governments’ role would mainly focus on formulating and maintaining the appropriate policy and regulatory controls to both foster and facilitate suitable corridor developments while delivering on social, economic and environmental goals,” said Honourable David Musabayane, Zimbabwe’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
The Deputy Minister highlighted this imperative at the WBCG’s information sharing session held in Harare on 12 October 2021. Furthermore, he shared that the government of Zimbabwe is ready to work with the government of Namibia to ensure that bilateral and transit trade increases.
The information sharing session was part of the Namibia trade mission to Zimbabwe which was successfully concluded on 21 October 2021. The trade mission, which started on 9 October 2021 was headed by the Ambassador of Namibia in Zimbabwe alongside the Ambassador of Zimbabwe in Namibia. The trip was facilitated by the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) in close collaboration with the Ministry of Works and Transport and the Namibian Ports Authority (Namport). The objective of the trade mission was two-fold; strengthen the government bilateral relations and engage the Zimbabwean business community, captains of industry and economic sectors (such as mining, transport, logistics, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism) to explore business opportunities, prospects and the viability of optimum utilisation of the Port of Walvis Bay and the Zimbabwean Dry Port facility for Zimbabwean imports and exports. Additionally, the trade mission seeks to create synergies and strategic partnerships to promote social and economic progress, as well as deeper regional and continental integration through intra – African trade.
The trip provided the opportunity to benchmark on soft and hard infrastructure on peer border posts, transport corridors, corridor infrastructure (i.e., Mamuno and Plumtree border posts on the Trans-Kalahari corridor, Forbes/Machipanda border post on the Beira corridor, Beit Bridge on the North-South corridor, Victoria Falls border post, and Kazungula One-Stop-Border Post on the North-South corridor).
Namibia’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, His Excellency Nicklaas Kandjii, noted that the trade mission was critical in providing opportunities to link Zimbabwe to the Port of Walvis Bay to facilitate exports to Europe, West Africa and the Americas.
“The Government has identified economic diplomacy as a strategic vehicle to foster and promote vibrant economies in the context of bilateral relations, hence the trade mission will go a long way in enhancing and strengthening trade relations between the two countries, and the region at large. Therefore, I am confident that this mission will also promote Namibia as Southern Africa’s preferred logistics hub and the Port of Walvis Bay as a viable alternative and convenient transport route, along the identified transport corridors,” he added.
The Namibia trade mission to Zimbabwe was preceded by the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development Hon. Felix Mhona’s official visit to Namibia in May 2021.
Efficient and reliable trade, transport and logistics solutions are key ingredients in the realisation of meaningful economic diplomacy and regional integration. Pursuant to this, the WBCG will work closely with all stakeholders and various partners in conducting follow ups on the Zimbabwe market.