Namibia praised for investing in Congo

POINTE-NOIRE: Congolese Minister of Trade and Supplies, Claudine Munari heaped praise on Namibia for choosing to invest in her country, noting that such investment would contribute immensely to intra-Africa trade.

Munari told Nampa on the sidelines of a ground-breaking ceremony of a multi-million dollar investment by Namibia in the port city of Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo, that the investment will strengthen existing bilateral ties between the two countries.

The Trade and Supplies Minister said it was high time African countries forge similar trade alliances to avoid having to re-import into Africa products that were originally produced here.

She said many a time African countries bypass each other when exporting their products to Europe and other western countries, only to import them back into their countries.

“There is no reason why goods from Namibia should pass Congo on the way to Europe without some of them being sold here. This is indeed something that we need to change as Africans in order to allow for value addition in Africa,” she said.

Speaking through a translator, Munari noted that the proposed trade and industrial estate will accord the people of Congo a perfect opportunity to have their products traded in Namibia and other countries.

Munari pledged the Congolese people’s cooperation in making sure the project sees the light of day, and encouraged the further strengthening of trade relations between the two countries.

“I can assure you that Congolese business people will come on board this venture and support the initiative to ensure its success. Let us, however, look at more windows of opportunities through which we can further expand our trade relations,” she noted.

Namibia will pump in over N.dollars 800 million towards the realisation of the project, spanning over two years.

The project is expected to provide up to 900 temporary jobs for semi-skilled and unskilled Congolese labourers during its initial stages.

Namibian professionals will, however, team up with their Congolese counterparts in driving the project to its completion.

The state-of-the-art Trade and Industrial Centre is expected to link the Namibian export market to Central and West Africa through Congo, which is ideally located for this purpose.

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 the “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.

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