Collaboration talks to develop cross-border value chains in various sectors of the two economies are on the table.
At the 1st Technical Meeting on Cross Border Value Chains held in South Africa recently, the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) was chosen to form part of the sub-committee that has been established to further analyse a business case for possible value chain projects within the agreed industries.
The meeting was attended by officials from the WBCG, Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Namibiaâ€™s High Commission representative in South Africa, the South African Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), Industrial Development Cooperation (IDC) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).
Discussions for collaboration between the two countries started in June 2014 where it was agreed that there is a need for both countries to work together to identify low hanging fruits in various sectors to promote the development of value chains. The two sectors that have been agreed on for prioritization at the moment are agro-processing and mineral beneficiation.
The process of industrialization is very important to the Namibian economy and is one of Namibiaâ€™s key priority areas. In view of Vision 2030, strong emphasis is placed on the transport sector to stimulate economic growth and promote national and regional integration, and to develop regional trade in which the WBCG is playing a supporting role.
The WBCG has been mandated by the newly renamed Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade & SME Development to accelerate development along what traditionally have been transport corridors, into economic development corridors, through the Spatial Development Initiatives (SDIs) Programme.
Dr Michael Himavindu, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade & SME Development agrees that Namibia and South Africa should cooperate and work together on the development of regional value chains with a view to building productive capacity and creating business opportunities in both countries.
The IDC has expressed willingness to fund identified projects that are economically viable and sustainable.The sub-committee is expected to report back to the bigger forum by June 2015.
The Namibian and South African governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Economic Cooperation on 21st November 2006.