NCCI ExCo meets Consul General of Angola to discuss cross border trade issues
Yesterday (19.09.2013) the NCCI Northern Branch Executive Committee (ExCo) and representatives of the NCCI Satellite Branches in Helao Nafidi and Okalongo met during a Business Breakfast with Mr Francisco Correia the Consul General of Angola in Oshakti.
The meeting was opened by Mr Sion Seehama (NCCI ExCo) expressing his delight and appreciation for the attendees, who despite their busy schedules found the time to follow the NCCI invitation. He then outlined that the meeting is not a mere call of courtesy, but the consistent continuation of NCCI’s efforts to invigorate the Namibian-Angolan trade relationship.
Mr Tomas Iindji, the Chairperson of NCCI Nortern Branch, then outlined that after a significant slump in previous years, the trade linkage between businesses and business institutions like the Chambers of Commerce, the Central Banks, and the Ministries of Industry are advancing again. At the Helao Nafidi Revitalisation Conference, organised by NCCI in February 2013, bottlenecks and obstacles affecting the economic development and stability of the town were identified. Then, in May, the Namibia/Angola Strategic Business Workshop in Ondjiva, encouraged entrepreneurs of both sides to explore the business potential of cross-border partnerships by mapping trade and business opportunities in agricultural production, retail, manufacturing, and private state-of-the-art services. Finally in June a series of meetings between NCCI and the Ondjiva Trade Fair management eased down the access of Namibian enterprises to the Ondjiva Trade Fair and in fact, about 120 Namibian exhibitors and cattle traders took in 2013 the opportunity to showcast their products and services to the Angolan market!
Nevertheless, Mr Iindji also acknowledged, that cross border trade between Angola and Namibia does by far not yet exploit its full potential. On a political level the full implementation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Trade is required to allow the free flow of products and services as well as tackle currency limitations.
For the meantime Mr Iindji suggests Namibian and Angolan business people to form joint ventures as partnerships actually are the best tool to enter easily into both, the Namibian and the Angolan market.
Taking up the NCCI Chairman’s drift Mr Francisco Correia, Consul General of Angola, welcomed Namibian private sector engagement in the economic development of his country and encouraged Namibian businesses to take up the ample business opportunities in e.g. agriculture production and processing, local and regional transport, civil engineering, education and health services. He stressed that the Angolan Consulate is prepared to support Namibian investors in their endeavour and appealed to them: “Visit Angola and explore its great economic opportunities!”
In the following discussion Mr Correia comprehensively answered questions of NCCI ExCo Members regarding the still often limited freedom of movement, frequently unreliable agreements, as well as law and contract enforcement in Angola. He assured businesses of his full support and invited them in case of any conflict not to hesitate and knock his door at the Angolan Consulate in Oshakati.
In rounding up Mr Iindji proposed that frequent meetings should underpin further progress because the overall message is very clear: “Our efforts in facilitating cross border trade will entail innovation, growth, employment, and prosperity on both sides - Kunene Province and the 4 Northern Regions!”
Later the same day the NCCI Executive Committee approved the NCCI Northern Branch Budget for 2014 worth N$ 1.4 million and focusing once again on business facilitation and quality support services.
Issued on behalf of NCCI by
Mr Tomas Iindji
Chairperson of NCCI Northern Branch