Namibia, EU trade hits over N$33bn in 10 years

Namibia’s trade with the European Union has reached a cumulative N$33 billion over the last decade after the country exported goods worth N$24.4 billion to the bloc with imports valued at N$9.2 billion, statistics shared by the Delegation of the European Union to Namibia show.

The country’s top three exports to EU in 2021 were hake, copper and diamonds, followed by uranium, cobalt, other fish, fresh grapes, charcoal and zinc, while the country mainly imported ores; machinery, fuels and oils during the period.

“Between 2011 and 2021, Namibia exports in goods to Europe have grown by 50% to €1,36 billion, while its imports have grown by only 8,9% to €511 billion, meaning that Namibia’s trade balance with the EU is positive and increasing,” EU Ambassador to Namibia Sinikka Antila told an inaugural Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Trade Forum between Namibia and the EU.

“While a more in-depth evaluation of the impact of the EPA has to be carried out, these figures shows that the trend is positive and that the agreement is already bearing some fruits. In order to take advantage of opportunities associated with EPA implementation, one needs to have a strong private sector, an enabling environment and overcoming non-tariff barriers in the form of regulatory requirements, quality infrastructure and the required institutional set-up as well as capacity in these areas.”

Antila, however, called on Namibia to diversify its exports to the trade bloc, commending the increase in charcoal exports.

“Namibia’s exports to the EU have shown a positive growth rate from 2017-2021, but we would like to see more diversification of Namibian exports and a further expansion of mutual trade. Products like charcoal showed strong growth over the last five years and we think many others can follow suit. The potential of e.g. poultry, game meat and Wagyu beef and organic cosmetics are some of the products that will be discussed today,” she said.

The ambassador noted that the positioning of Namibia to become a Green Hydrogen and logistics hub for the continent offers enhanced trade and investment opportunities for the country and trade bloc which can boost economic growth, create employment, while good for the environment.

“The EU, and its Member States, is committed to accompanying the Government’s ambition by mobilising investments from EU private companies and EU financing institutions. We believe this partnership will usher in a new chapter of economic cooperation between the EU and Namibia – promoting industrialisation, beneficiation to critical raw materials that is strategic for Energy and Green transition in Namibia as well as in Europe,” she said.

This comes as the EU and the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade, and the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board are planning a Business Forum next year.

“The idea of the business forum is to bring together EU and Namibian businesses to network and explore investment opportunities around emerging economic sectors,” she said.


The EU has provided N$108.4 million (€6 million) to strengthen the Namibian government’s capacity to manage international agreements, with specific focus on EPA.

Signed in 2016 between the EU and six SADC countries including Namibia, EPA provides duty and quota-free access to the EU market – meaning zero tariffs and unlimited quantities for all products except arms.

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