Namibia and Congo strengthen trade ties

POINTE-NOIRE: Namibia has acquired a piece of land in the Congolese port city of Pointe Noire for the construction of a state-of-the-art Trade and Industrial Centre.

The project is expected to link the Namibian export market to Central and West Africa through Congo, which is ideally located for this purpose.

The envisaged project took its first steps to realisation through a groundbreaking ceremony here on Wednesday.

The estate will be housed on a plot of three hectares during its initial stages, which will later be extended by a further seven hectares for the last two stages of the project.

Christened ‘Namibia Trade and Industrial Estate’, the development will consist of a logistic hub where business people can network; an industrial park consisting of manufacturing facilities, packaging plants and storage; and a container depot and exhibition centre.

The development is expected to be completed by November 2014, while the first phase is expected to be realised by November this year.

According to Deputy Trade and Industry Minister, Tjekero Tweya, who was in Pointe Noire for the groundbreaking ceremony, the two countries will engage in trading beef, fish and agricultural products, amongst others.

He said the facility is of vital importance in Namibia’s efforts to expand trade and to venture into other African markets.

Tweya noted that Congo remains vastly untapped, given its huge potential for trade in various sectors of the economy, which had been left idle due to a lack of trade promotional activities.

“This facility will serve as a vital link to both Namibian and Congolese business people as there are many products that both countries can share. We have a lot of beef and fish in Namibia, while Congo has an abundance of timber and an oil refinery plant, which can be exploited to the advantages of both countries,” he said.

The ceremony was witnessed by the Congolese Minister of Trade and Supplies, Claudine Munari and Pierre Mabiala, the Congolese Minister of Lands and Public Domain.

Pointe-Noire is the second-largest city in Congo after the capital of Brazzaville. It is situated on a headland between Pointe-Noire Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

It is the main commercial centre of the country, and has a population of close to 1 million when the entire metropolitan area is taken into account.

The city is the essential centre of the oil industry of the Republic of Congo, one of the main oil producers in Central Africa.

Pointe-Noire is also known for its fishing industry, which is often at odds with the oil development.

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