By KENNEDY MUPESENI –
NAMIBIA will soon start processing import and export permits at border posts and remove other barriers to increase trade with its neighbours, including Zambia.
Namibian High Commissioner to Zambia Leonard Nambahu assured Zambian exporters and importers that the Namibian authorities would soon start issuing export and import permits at its border posts to ease trade.
He was responding to the complaints by exporters and importers from the two countries on the challenges of access to trade permits at border posts.
Mr Nambahu said this in an interview in Lusaka on the sidelines of the one-day Zambia-Namibia Business Forum organized by the chambers of commerce and industry from the two countries.
“Zambia is doing it (issuing trade permits at border posts); we cannot continue issuing permits from Windhoek, soon we will start processing such documents at our border posts to facilitate trade between the two countries,” he said.
He urged the private sector from the two countries to use the long standing diplomatic relations to grow trade and investment partnerships.
“Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) from Namibia and Zambia should engage in serious partnerships and create capacity and invest in various economic sectors,” Mr Nambahu said.
He said it was time the two countries removed artificial barriers to enhance trade and investments.
Addressing the forum, Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) president Geoffrey Sakulanda called on the Zambia and Namibia authorities to remove trade barriers to increase trade between the two neighbours.
“There is need to foster business ties between the two countries aimed at enhancing and increasing commercial links between Zambian and Namibian businesses and that can be realised by removing some of the barriers to trade,” Mr Sakulanda said.
He, however, said there was limited contact between the business people to foster business ties.
Mr Sakulanda urged investors from Namibian to take advantage of the visit, explore business and investments opportunities as Zambia was an attractive investment destination offering various investment opportunities in various sectors.
“Local and foreign investment are treated equally and the people are highly peaceful and friendly with the country’s well advanced free market economy without price, exchange and interest controls,” he said.
Mr Sakulanda urged members from both Zambia and Namibia to be prepared and take advantage of the existing opportunities to obtain markets and create linkages.
ZACCI and Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to increase business interaction between members of the two chambers.