Namibia to establish industrial zone at Walvis Bay

11 Sep 2013 04:30
By Maggy Thomas
TIANJIN, 11 SEP (NAMPA) - The Chinese Government-owned Tianjin Economic Development Area (TEDA) management is planning to visit Namibia soon to familiarise itself with the Port of Walvis Bay, where the Namibian Government is planning to establish an industrial park.
TEDA chairman Xu Hongxing announced this on Tuesday during a meeting with a Namibian delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Marco Hausiku, which arrived in Tianjin on Monday afternoon after attending the China International Trade and Investment in Xiamen.
“We will soon visit Namibia to see in which areas we can cooperate in the creation of the industrial park in Namibia. TEDA wants to extend cooperation with Namibia, but first, we have to find out if there is any opportunity to cooperate in that aspect,” he noted.
The announcement came after the Namibian delegation enquired whether there is a possibility for TEDA to cooperate with Namibia in setting-up an industrial zone.
Established in 1984, TEDA is one of the successful economic zones in China, where thousands of foreign enterprises from more than 100 countries operate.
The industrial zone is positioned to serve as an advanced manufacturing and modern service industry, driven by both investment and technology.
Hausiku was the first to brief the TEDA delegation that Namibia is only 23-years-old, and it is thus the right time to embark upon a project of that nature.
“We believe that this is a learning process. Our visit is not an ordinary visit. It is a visit linked to our national development planning at home, specifically with the development of industrial zones in the country. We mean business here,” he stated.
The Deputy Premier furthermore indicated that plans to create an industrial zone had already been approved by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and are just waiting to be approved by Cabinet and Namibian president Hifikepuyne Pohamba.
Hausiku also assured the Chinese delegation that Namibia does not only offer the broader market in terms of the region, but also offers the more secured investment area in the region.
“Your investment is secure in Namibia in terms of political stability and economic development,” he stated.
The industrial park will be constructed in Walvis Bay, which already has a harbour, international airport and is connected to the country's rail network.
It holds the possibility of creating all facilities in rendering services and providing a space for future and further development.
Meanwhile, Minister of Trade and Industry Calle Schlettwein indicated that Walvis Bay is a proper site, connected to road and rail infrastructure, and contains significant resources such as salt, marine resources, dimension stones and agricultural products.
“It is those industries we want to settle in the industrial park so that we add value to our natural resources. We want to cooperate with China, specifically with TEDA, so, we have to create a win-win situation. We do not want to compete with TEDA,” he said.
On his part, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Peya Mushelenga said there is a possibility of having a trade cooperation zone with Namibia, because there are similarities in terms of the larger market captured by Namibia.
Namibia is part of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and the Southern African Customs’ Union (SACU), and SADC's market is quite large.
Mushelenga indicated that it is therefore an opportune time for TEDA to have a similar cooperation zone with Namibia.
The Namibian delegation also visited the Tianjin Port, the fourth- largest port in the world.