NAMIBIAN President Hage Geingob was on Friday paid a courtesy visit by the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Belgium, Alexander de Croo, to discuss ways and means to deepen bilateral trade and investment relations between the two countries.
The courtesy visit on the margins of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York was the first meeting between the two leaders.
According to a press statement issued today by the Presidency of Namibia, bilateral relations between Namibia and Belgium are currently in a dynamic phase and President Geingob’s talks with his Belgian counterpart covered a range of issues of international and domestic interest, including the need for global cooperation and action in order to tackle challenges such as climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic.
President Geingob during the meeting emphasized the need to scale up climate friendly technologies, especially Green Hydrogen, which could play an important role in decarbornisation of the planet.
In that regard, Geingob welcomed potential investments by Belgian companies in the sector.
Namibia’s Head of State also outlined current processes in place to advance the Green Hydrogen sector and welcomed the fact that Belgian investors in the sector were develop independent assets.
According to Geingob, should the investors encounter challenges, Namibia is characterized by rule of law, including processes, systems and institutions.
With regards to the Covid-19 global pandemic, both leaders agreed that more must be done in order to ensure that all countries, particularly those in the developing world, have equitable access to vaccines in order to save lives and ensure economic recovery.
While discussing the dangers of vaccine apartheid, Geingob thanked de Croo for the support that Belgium extended to Namibia during the recent devastating third wave of Covid-19 infections by donating PPE through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
On his part, de Croo reiterated his Government’s support for efforts to develop manufacturing capacity on the African continent and offered to expand the bilateral dialogue on Covid-19 related assistance to Namibia to include vaccines produced in Belgium.
Suggestions were also made for the business communities of Namibia and Belgium to expand the scale and scope of their mutual cooperation into new areas such as energy and green hydrogen, in particular.
Namibia and Belgium already enjoy strong economic ties in the diamond sector, with Belgian companies importing rough diamonds from Namibia and some of them operating cutting and polishing factories in Namibia.
Geingob and de Croo agreed to continue discussions on how to strengthen the cordial relations between Namibia and Belgium by putting in place a series of agreements which can boost bilateral cooperation and investments across various sectors.
These include agreements relating to double taxation.