On Monday, the Namibian Minister of Industrialisation and Trade, Lucia Iipumbu launched an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Implementation Plan at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) – European Union EPA Trade Forum at the Windhoek Country Club Resort in Namibia.
The European Union (EU) delegation in Namibia co-hosted the event with the theme ‘Towards Increased and Diversified Trade under the EPA by Ensuring Inclusivity, Sustainability and Economic Growth’.
According to an article on allfrica, the minister said: “The EPA implementation plan for Namibia which we are also launching is geared towards attaining the objectives of the SADC – EU EPA and ensuring that the potential benefits that can arise from it are fully utilised by the intended beneficiaries, which include exporters, importers, consumers, and the business fraternity”.
The Namibian EPA implementation plan was developed with the support of financial assistance from the European Union as said by the Minister.
Iimpumbu said: “We are further happy to note that the plan is being implemented with the support of the EU through a financing Agreement between the National Planning Commission and the EU delegation”.
However, the forum will have several interactive engagements and presentations focusing on opportunities for Namibians and EU traders, agriculture and agro-processing, manufacturing and trade facilitation and logistics.
The Ministry of Trade is to serve as the coordinator for the Plan’s initial goal, providing improved coordination and cooperation across institutions and organizations, addressing areas relating to EPA implementation.
The forum is also centered on establishing and enhancing the performance of important institutions involved in EPA implementations.
The third point emphasized on making a case for technical support to strengthen the necessary legal, institutional, and infrastructural frameworks for Namibia’s EPA implementation.
The EU ambassador, H.E. Sinikka Antila stated that Europe and Africa are facing unusual socio-economic challenges, but also opportunities, which can only be tackled collectively by engaging the public and private sector, development partners, financial institutions and civil society amongst others.
In addition, five other SADC member States which include Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique and South Africa have signed the Economic Partnership Agreement.
The Economic Partnership Agreement provides duty-free, quota free market access into the European Union for exports from partner States like Namibia, subject to rules of origin and adherence to international and regional quality standards.