The Namibian Embassy in France has planned a trade mission to Portugal next month.
The embassy is using the trade mission to promote Namibia as an investment destination and trading partner, while strengthening economic relations between the two countries.
“The embassy will be hosting two business seminars in the northern and southern regions of Portugal. The first seminar will be held in partnership with the AEP “Portugal Entrepreneurial Association (northern region) on 27 June followed by business to business meetings and industrial site visits.
“The second seminar will be on 29 June in the capital city of Lisbon, in partnership with the Portuguese Industrial Association (AIP) Southern Region,” said Namibia’s Ambassador to France, Frieda Nangula Ithete, in an interview.
Ithete said the seminars are organised in preparation to the Portuguese business delegation to Namibia, planned by the Embassy and the AEP for later this year, from 29 September to 04 October 2018.
She said the seminars will afford the Namibian companies the opportunity to learn about the Portuguese market and explore business opportunities in Portugal.
Ithete said there are also opportunities for Namibian companies to participate in joint ventures with Portuguese companies.
She added that Namibian companies can also forge links with Portuguese companies that have established operations and experience in Angola.
According to the Namibia Statistics Agency, exports from Namibia to Portugal in 2017were valued at US$445 million while imports were worth US$326 million.
“To increase trade between the two countries, it is important to consistently improve awareness about the economic potential of Namibia and Portugal among the business fraternity of both countries,” said Ithete.
She said generally, companies seek trading opportunities followed by Foreign Direct Investment if the Return on Investment (ROI) is guaranteed.
“Portuguese companies are no exception and are looking for opportunities to export their products to Namibia. The onus is on Namibia to build on trade relations and to attract companies for long-term investments that has the potential to contribute to economic growth in Namibia and to boost exports to the SADC Region and the world at large.”
Ithete said other areas of interest for Portuguese companies are in renewable energy, environmental management, tourism, blue economy, construction, skills development and training as well as ICT, mainly in software development and artificial intelligence.
Namibia’s exports to Portugal include fish and grapes.
Imports from Portugal include olives, vegetable oils, chilled vegetables, cereal, wine, textile, footwear, paper products, automatic data processing equipment, machinery parts and components, iron and steel.
Ithete said despite the disinvestment by Portugal Telecom from MTC Namibia, the embassy has helped Bank Atlantico Namibia and Bank BIC Namibia invest in Namibia.
“The two banks may potentially be green flags for more investments from Portugal, which we seek to attract in eight sectors. These include agriculture and agro-processing, manufacturing, mining and mineral beneficiation, education, skills development and training, ICT, logistics and transport, ocean economy, tourism and business support services.”
The embassy also covers Namibian interests in Italy, Portugal and Spain.