NAMIBIA earned N$150 million in revenue from vehicles destined for neighbouring countries imported through Walvis Bay, the Walvis Bay Corridor Group said this week. The Group said during the past year there has been more than double the volume of vehicles handled at the Port of Walvis Bay and imported to neighbouring countries.
In 2012, more than 20,000 vehicles moved via the Walvis Bay Corridors to countries such as Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
“It is estimated that the benefit of importing these vehicles via the Port of Walvis Bay has resulted in an economic benefit of more than N$150 million to the Namibian economy – this represents more than a 100 percent increase in revenue compared to the previous year.
“Just more than three years ago most of these vehicles were transported via other transport corridors in the SADC region. Now, customers in the region have found a shorter and safer alternative to transport their vehicles to the local market,” the Group said.
The WBCG said this had resulted in an immense economic benefit to the Namibian community where it is mostly the SME’s that benefit from this business.
“This income could have otherwise been contributed towards other port economies in the SADC region. The local community of Walvis Bay such as the port, shipping and logistics fraternity, accommodation and food establishments, the Municipality of Walvis Bay, service stations and other miscellaneous service providers, benefit the most from this economic benefit,” the WBCG said.
The vehicles, which are mostly used vehicles, are imported from all over the world and are sometimes driven by road over vast distances of more than 2,500 kilometres, after they have been delivered at the Port of Walvis Bay.
The current shipping services provide a linkage of both left hand and right hand vehicles which are sourced from markets such Europe, the UK, the US and Asia and can therefore provide to all the market options in the SADC region.
“The growth in the import of vehicles to the neighbouring countries has built confidence amongst importers in utilising the port of Walvis Bay for the import and export of other commodities,” the Group said.
Johny Smith, CEO of the Walvis Bay Corridor Group said in order to grow the market for the Walvis Bay Corridors it is important that Namibia focuses on improving its transport infrastructure and trade facilitation services continuously as it will provide much needed income for the economy in the short, medium and long term.