24 Jun 2019 13:40pm
WINDHOEK, 24 JUN (NAMPA) The Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) has called on trade experts to find innovative ways to contribute to the success of the review process of the Free Trade Area (FTA) agreement.
The agreement was entered into by the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) on 01 May 2008.
This call was made on Friday by the ministrys Policy Analyst, Jeanetha Tjitaura, during her presentation at a public discussion on international and domestic trade policy here on Friday.
Tjitaura explained that the SACU and EFTA states are currently in the process of reviewing the FTA whereas Namibia, Botswana and eSwatini have made requests to expand the beef and mutton quota.
The agreement covers trade in goods by providing duty-free market access for most industrial goods, including fish and other marine products, and provides for concessions on processed agricultural products.
The EFTA comprises Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, while SACU is composed of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and eSwatini.
Tjitaura stressed that Namibias imports are currently higher than its exports, adding that there is a need to export more in order for the country to generate more revenue.
Namibia, she noted, plans to increase the beef quota under Article 2 of the Protocol on Beef from 500 to 1 500 tonnes.
Furthermore, Namibia is requesting the transposition of the 2700 Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) quota into the EFTA-SACU agreement under Article 2 of the Protocol on Beef.
Namibia is also requesting the transposition of the 400 tonnes of sheep meat currently under the GSP scheme into the main agreement and to seek an additional 600 tonnes to increase it to 1 000 tonnes.