10 Feb 2016 18:10pm
WINDHOEK, 10 FEB (NAMPA) Namibia will soon sign the long-awaited Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU).
Speaker of the National Assembly Peter Katjavivi said this on Wednesday during the celebration of 25 years of collaboration between Namibia and the European Union and launch of a brochure titled '25 Years of Partnership Between Namibia and the EU'.
Katjavivi said Namibia is expected to sign the agreement between May and June this year and then ratify the agreement before 01 October.
The agreement will be discussed in Parliament and later officially signed by President Hage Geingob.
We are looking forward to the full implementation of EPA and hoping to use the available opportunity made to Namibia, he said.
EU Ambassador to Namibia Jana Hybaskova said during the same celebration that the EU hopes the Namibian Government will soon sign the EPA and enjoy the duty-free export of almost 20 million goods to Europe.
Namibia has negotiated an EPA as part of a regional Southern African Development Community (SADC) group that includes Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Angola and South Africa.
The negotiations started in 2007 and ended on 15 July 2014.
The EU Ambassador said Namibia and the EU will continue to enjoy the good working relationship which started 25 years back with the provision of grants of more than Euro 400 million (approximately N.dollars 7.1 billion).
She noted that the EU is currently assisting Namibia through the 11th European Development Fund that was formulated to support the priority areas in Namibia's Fourth National Development Plan such as education and skills development; and agriculture.
Hybaskova said the EU is ready to invest another Euro 20 million (about N.dollars 356 million) in order to increase the quality of the lives of Namibian people.
The celebration was attended by Members of Parliament, Ambassadors and High Commissioners.