Geingob defends Chinese businesspeople in Namibia

14 Apr 2014 16:20pm
SHANGHAI, 14 APR (NAMPA) - Prime Minister Dr. Hage Geingob, who rounded up a nine-day state visit to China on Monday, has defended the growing presence of Chinese businesspeople in Namibia.
Dispelling concerns often raised in Namibia about the alleged influx of Chinese nationals into the country, Geingob said such influx has no economic disadvantages to Namibia.
Speaking during the second phase of the Namibia-China Business Forum here, Geingob said China has no disadvantages for Namibia.
The Premier noted that a large number of Chinese people in Namibia are business people who are in the country on business principles and should be accepted just like any other foreign investors.
“I do not understand why people are complaining of the Chinese people's presence in Namibia. We hear the USA saying Chinese would take over Namibia's economy if they’re allowed to settle in the country at the current pace. This is funny, because the USA itself has more Chinese nationals than Namibia. There are china towns everywhere in the world. What makes Namibia unique?” he asked.
Geingob said China has no intentions of colonising Namibia, and is merely interested in strengthening the existing bilateral relations between the two countries.
He said as long as Chinese nationals in Namibia abide by the country's laws and rules when conducting their activities, they will be accepted in the country.
“We know what we want. We want to strengthen our economy and we have been knocking on the doors of our friends, such as China, in the struggle for economic freedom through bilateral trade agreements. That is what is important and we are pursuing this to the end,” said Geingob.
The Namibian Government, which is a signatory of various bilateral agreements with China, has been pursuing trade interests with Asian countries in its bid to achieve economic liberalisation and attract foreign investment.
Some Namibian businesses have often complained about the alleged threat of competition posed by the influx of Chinese businesses into the country, especially in the construction and retail sector.
There have also been claims of unfair competition by Chinese businesses, allegedly with regard to state tenders.
The Namibia-China Business Forum was organised by the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) to serve as a networking opportunity for businesspeople of the two countries.
Geingob returns to Namibia on Tuesday.