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China set to strengthen trade ties with Namibia: Commerce Minister


08:46, February 22, 2013

WINDHOEK, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- China is willing to expand bilateral trade with Namibia and import more non-resources products from the south-western African country, Chen Deming, the Commerce Minister of China, has said.

China will find ways to enable more Namibian exports to China, Chen told Namibian Prime Minister Hage Geingob on Tuesday as the Chinese trade delegation started a three-day visit to Namibia.

China will assist Namibia to reduce unemployment by bringing more labor intensive processing companies instead of relying on processing of raw materials as is the case right now, Chen revealed.

Paying tribute to former Namibian president Sam Nujoma and the incumbent, Hifikepunye Pohamba, as well as Geingob for keeping peace in the country, Chen said China has paid "particular attention" to Namibia.

"We are trying to look for African countries that have political stability and good economic foundation to serve as a window and a bridge for Chinese cooperation and investment. We are paying particular attention to Namibia," he said.

In Namibia's case, Chen pointed out that the high pressure of unemployment especially of the youth demands a different approach.

He also suggested that one way of attracting Chinese companies to Namibia is the establishment of industrial parks or economic zones which provide excellent climate for companies from his country.

In addition, Chen said Chinese companies that win tenders in Namibia will source all equipment locally unless such equipment cannot be found. Meanwhile, Chen appealed to Geingob to give preference to Chinese companies for projects such as the water hydro project, the road project in the northern part of the country and the Walvis Bay Port expansion project.

According to him, all these new measures came as a result of the good relationship between China and Namibia especially as a response to Geingob's concerns as well as the country's credit worthiness and stability both politically and economically.

In response, Geingob praised China for the support, saying that the Chinese, as big and powerful as they are, regard themselves as developing to whom Namibia can talk to as equal.

The PM further said he is glad to hear that China has heeded Namibia's concerns and that no company can beat the Chinese when it comes to completing projects.

On his arrival, Chen held talks with Trade and Industry Minister Calle Schlettwein. He also met the Director of National Planning Commission, Tom Alweendo. The two parties signed agreements regarding ongoing projects as well as projects to be carried out.

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