MANY governments have engaged in free trade agreements to facilitate the growth of regional production; however, these agreements are a double-edged sword for Namibia, with the country not making any profits on tariffs with 53% of the countries it trades with.
Hosting an update session on Namibia’s International and Domestic Trade Policy, CEO of Namibia’s trade Forum (NTF), NditahNghipondoka-Robiati stated that the lack of financial gains in terms of trade tariffs come from the fact that 53% of products that come into Namibia are procured from Most Favored Nations (MFNs).
In return, Namibia gets the same preferential treatment. She further stated that hopefully gains from the domestic growth would offset the deficit in tariffs.
Inquired how the country can safeguard itself from material injury to the domestic industry caused by some trade agreements, Nghipondoka-Robiati stated that currently in Africa, only Egypt and South Africa have Trade Setting Bodies that deal with trade remedies, however the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has developed instruments to protect countries that open up borders.
Also speaking at the event, the High Commission of the European Union to Namibia, stated that trade is the bed-rock for economic development, and thus the EU will donate £8 for its Global Trade Programmes which will also target Namibia and Mozambique in the SADC region.