China keen to receive Namibian beef

16 Sep 2013 11:00
WINDHOEK, 16 SEP (NAMPA) - The Chinese market is keen to receive Namibian beef, mutton and possible game meat, Minister of Trade and Industry, Calle Schlettwein said on Monday.
In an interview with Nampa here, the minister said this confirmation came at the right time when Namibia is trying to diversify its meat market.
“That suits us well, because we have an objective to diversify our market for our meat sector, not only for selling fresh produce, but also value addition to our meat products such as processed meat,” he said.
Schlettwein indicated that there is keen interest to set up business in Namibia to process meat products for the Chinese market.
“We can set up business in Namibia through joint ventures with Chinese companies and process the meat into the products they want and export them to China,” said the Trade Minister.
“With the set-up of factories to process meat, we would gain tremendously on the policy to add value to our raw materials and to improve market access to the growing market in the world,” he said.
Schlettwein added that Namibia would also improve its own production capacity, create jobs, wealth and distribute the wealth in an equitable way.
Namibia is currently only exporting fish and shellfish to China.
Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa last year signed an agreement with the Chinese Government paving the way for quota-free access to the Asian market for locally-produced and processed beef, mutton, fish, and even fruit.
The agreement came as Namibia faces a European Union (EU) trade deadline.
If Namibia has not signed the economic partnership agreement (EPA) by January 2014, local fish, beef and grapes will lose duty- and quota-free access to EU markets.
Currently, Namibia exports 10 per cent of its beef to Europe, 80 per cent to South Africa and 10 per cent is consumed locally.