02 Jul 2013 07:40
WALVIS BAY, 02 JUL (NAMPA) ? The Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) has set its sights on making the harbour town a gateway for regional trade within the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).
WBCG Chief Executive Officer, Johny Smith said this here on Monday during the opening of a week-long Pan-African Parliament (PAP) Southern Caucus workshop on infrastructure development and promoting regional trade.
He said as a facilitator for increasing imports and exports along the various corridors, the WBCG has to continuously identify opportunities with the SADC region.
?Over the last decade, the WBCG has developed tremendously, not only in terms of the volumes of traffic it generates, but also with regards to service excellence, reducing transit time, removing bottlenecks and improving corridor logistics through private-public partnership remains the cornerstone of our strategy,? he said.
The WBCG CEO said one of the cornerstone developments for cargo growth at the port and corridors, is increasing the number of international shipping connections to the Port of Walvis Bay.
?The increase in the number of shipping connections to Walvis Bay has alleviated the status of the port and also ensured a more competitive tariff structure for importers and exporters,? Smith noted.
He also explained that these linkages have opened up the international corridors and they will reduce the cost of doing business in the region.
Smith further mentioned that Namibia should strengthen its ties with neighbouring countries to enhance the transport sector?s role and contribution to the local and regional economies.
He also stated that governments along the Walvis Bay corridor have committed themselves to dedicate capacity for the long-term management, co-ordination and promotion of the corridor.
The workshop discussions will focus on the need for the development of a viable infrastructure network to enhance regional and international trade within countries belonging to the PAP?s Southern Caucus.
The countries represented at the workshop include Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Angola, Malawi and South Africa.