Video: The president of the Republic of Botswana, Dr Mokgweetsi E. K Masisi speaks about opportunities presented by port development at Walvis Bay. – Footage: Niël Terblanché
MORE opportunities for trade and economic cooperation between Namibia and its landlocked neighbours will present themselves when the new container terminal at the port of Walvis Bay will be commissioned later this year.
The President of Namibia, Dr. Hage Geingob, accompanied the president of the Republic of Botswana, Dr Mokgweetsi E. K Masisi, on a quick fact finding mission to the port and its facilities currently nearing completion.
President Geingob in his capacity as the Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community have been advocating for more relaxed border controls and customs tax regimes to facilitate the increased flow of products and consumer goods as well as trade among member states. Dr. Geingob was of the opinion that increased trade would bring about a faster recovery from the economic downturn as well as the socio economic development of people living in the region.
With regards to the completion of the new port facilities the President said: “I am pleased with the progress made by the Ports Authority in developing its infrastructure and call on the entity to continue being a voice to be reckoned with in the porting world.”
President Masisi, urged the Namibian government through Namport to make use of the trade opportunities that will present themselves once the new port facilities are completed and working.
“The construction of a railroad between the two countries has been on the cards since time immemorial, but is up to the business community and the private sector to drive trade to such an extent that the construction thereof would be justified. The completion of this impressive new development at the Walvis Bay Port will definitely create more opportunities that need to be utilized by both countries on all levels.”
During his welcoming remarks, Namport’s outgoing Chief Executive Officer, Mr Bisey /Uirab said that Namport does not only serve Namibia as the main port but it also serves surrounding land locked countries such as Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is in this respect that the Namibian Ports Authority allocated dry port facilities to these three countries so as to encourage trade.
While the opportunity presented itself, Mr. /Uirab requested the Botswana government increase import and export volumes through the port to increase the mutually beneficial opportunities for trade.
The New Container Terminal is scheduled to be officially commissioned and inaugurated during August this year.