Namibia courts China for economic ties

BEIJING: Prime Minister Hage Geingob says Namibia’s political independence will be meaningless without the economic independence the country is currently yearning for.

He told participants from China and Namibia during the opening ceremony of the Namibia-China Forum that while the country held a strong and credible political freedom record, more still needs to be done before Namibia – just like any other developing country – could claim economic independence.

As such, Namibia has shifted its focus from the West as potential economic development partner, and is now looking East.

Geingob said China has a lot to offer Namibia in the manufacturing, construction, information technology and agricultural industries as these are some of China’s leading economic sectors.

“The days of looking towards Europe and the West for development co-operation are gone. As one of the fastest-growing economies, China has a lot to offer Namibia.

That is why I came with such a large delegation of business people so that they can network with their Chinese counterparts for investment opportunities from both sides,” he noted.

Inviting Chinese businesspeople to consider investing in Namibia’s thriving and young economy, the Premier said such investments will help the country to improve its economic standing, and cut its reliance on other countries for finished goods.

“Namibia has a wealth of minerals, such as diamonds and others. But people do not eat diamonds; they need food, a place to sleep and clothes on their backs. As such, all this economic wealth without a market to sell to will be meaningless,” he stated.

He stressed that foreign investors to Namibia are, nonetheless, only accepted on Namibian terms as the government places heavy emphasis on value-addition to the goods produced in the country before they would be exported.

Although still classified as a developing country, China has made great economic strides to become one of the world’s largest economic powerhouses.

Many African countries have been knocking on China’s doors for the strengthening of economic ties.

On the other hand, China considers Africa as a formidable economic investment destination due to its vast tracts of land and ideal investment climate.