Namibia, South Africa sign over 100 bilateral deals

Namibia and South Africa have signed over a 100 bilateral Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding covering a wide range of sectors including tourism.

The agreements are part of efforts by the two countries to strengthen political, social, and economic ties, while increasing mutually beneficial trade and investment.

President Hage Geingob said the trade pacts are the highest number that the Republic of Namibia has signed with any bilateral partner in the world.

“I am informed that following our official talks, we will witness the signing of a memorandum on tourism, an area key to our economic development aspirations. We should, therefore, direct our Ministers and their Senior Officials to ensure the speedy and timeous implementation of legal instruments we enter into," Geingob said during his official visit to South Africa.

On the same note, South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa said his government directed that an audit of the legal instruments be conducted prior to the convening of the South Africa-Namibia Bi-National Commission in Windhoek later this year to ensure that agreements signed are implemented.

"In view of the length of time between sessions of our Bi-National Commission, we have discussed the need for an Inter-Session Review Mechanism of BNC decisions and commitments. This work is important for our collective efforts to rebuild our economies and improve the livelihoods of our people following the devastation of the Covid-19 pandemic. Notable progress has been made in various sectors of cooperation. This is evidenced by the signing of new agreements to further expand our formal scope of cooperation," said Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa said the duo's ministers responsible for trade and industry will convene a Business Forum later this year to be attended by business people from both countries.

"We also agreed that the ministers of trade of the two countries should put in place a mechanism to protect investments in our respective countries. We will work together to leverage the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area and the Tripartite Free Trade Area between the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community," he said.

This comes as South Africa and Namibia enjoy close historic relations and the structural bilateral relations between the two countries is conducted under the framework of a Bi-National Commission (BNC) inaugurated in 2013.

Geingob noted that at the bilateral level, Namibia and South Africa are inextricably linked economically, socially, and symbiotically.

"South Africa remains Namibia’s leading trading partner in the world, leading both in terms of exports and imports. South Africa has the highest number of companies doing business in Namibia. We are both members of SADC and SACU, while our currency continues to be pegged to the South African Rand," he said.

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Last modified on Friday, 21 April 2023 19:58

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