Value addition to fisheries products critical: Mushelenga

19 Oct 2016 20:30pm
WINDHOEK,19 OCT(NAMPA) - Namibia's exports to Italy, largely consisting of fisheries products of horse mackerel, sardines and hake, amount to N.dollars 450 million annually over the past few years.
However, most of these fish products are exported to Italy without value addition and the Namibian Government believes that the development of the local manufacturing sector will result in value addition for the benefit of both present and future generations.
Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Peya Mushelenga said this in a speech he delivered at a South Africa-Italy Summit that kicked off in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The conference is being held under the theme 'Building a community of growing enterprises in the two continents-Europe and Africa'.
Mushelenga was particularly asked to make an intervention on some topics in respect of cooperation between the EU and African regions on relevant to contemporary international trades where some African countries still face challenges to attain economic growth.
He said in 2015, the Namibian Parliament adopted the Growth at Home Policy, which emphasised industrialisation.
“We believe that the development of the manufacturing sector will result in the realisation of value addition to the Namibian fisheries products”.
He said another concern in the Namibian fisheries sector is the ownership structure in which many Namibians own fishing quotas, while ownership of vessels is foreign-dominated.
Against this state of affairs, he explained, foreign ownership limits the degree to which Namibians can do more in adding value such as in packaging, branding, marketing and distribution of fish.
According to him, apart from realising value addition in the fisheries sector, cooperation between the EU and Africa in the agricultural sector should focus on technologies that are vital for economic growth in Africa, including Namibia.
He said prices of products offered on the global market and market efficiency in general should determine trade between Italy, the EU and members of the Southern African Development Community.
“Namibia will maintain her European markets and look forward to further growth opportunities for the economy of the country,” said Mushelenga.
The South Africa-Italy Summit ends Thursday.