25 Apr 2019 15:10pm
WINDHOEK, 25 APR (NAMPA) Namibia could potentially lose up to N.dollars 50 million per year in the meat industry, depending on the trade price of entry into the United Kingdom (UK), following its expected exit from the European Union (EU).
This was said by Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development Tjekero Tweya in the National Assembly on Wednesday.
Tweya said the UK government published a no-deal trade plan following a vote against the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement by the UK Parliament on 12 March 2019.
He further explained that the plan states that 87 per cent of imports into the UK would be eligible for duty-free entry. However, tariffs would be maintained on 469 tariff lines to protect certain industries with a number of those lines being products of interest to the Mozambique and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).
SACU comprises Namibia, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and South Africa.
Agricultural products, which Namibia has an export interest in, would attract a duty and in the particular case of bovine meat (beef), annual or Tariff Rate Quotas volume amounts would apply, which means once the quotas are depleted, a duty would apply, Tweya said.
He added that, by implication, the UK would be using a mixture of tariffs and quotas on beef, lamb, pork, poultry and some dairy to protect its farmers from imports.
Namibias potential loss to the meat industry, depending on the price of entry into the UK, could be in the vicinity of around N.dollars 25 to 50 million per annum. The affected commodities are fresh or chilled bovine meat and frozen boneless bovine meat, he said.
Tweya revealed that to date, a number of engagements have been held with the UK to agree on a framework for a future SACU, Mozambique and UK Economic Partnership Agreement.
He added that although the parties have made substantial progress towards the conclusion of the agreement, negotiations have still not concluded and he warned that a no-deal scenario would result in a systemic economic risk for both parties.