Namibia’s Fishing Industry Threatened by EPA Renewal

Namibia’s Fishing Industry Threatened by EPA Renewal

From The Namibian

The Confederation of Namibian Fishing Associations fears that fishing firms will be threatened with bankruptcy if Namibia loses its zero tariff status as part of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

Namibia has been dragging its feet on signing the agreement for more than 12 years after discovering that the agreement was not amended as they had requested.

Despite supporting government’s stance on the negotiations, Matti Amukwa, the chairman of the confederation says Namibia’s fishing industry will be forced to pay “much more” for tariffs.

Amukwa made the remarks at a policy workshop held in Windhoek on Monday in light of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources’ five-year sectoral plan.

Benefits of being part of the EPA is the free access to the European Union (EU) market where no duties are paid on Namibian products. This regime is based on an agreement, which will end on 1 October 2014.

“It is absolutely vital that an agreement is reached,” Amukwa said pointing out particularly sectors such as the hake industry, which send 70% of its exports to the EU, as well as the monk sector, which exports close to 100% to the EU.

“What is also of concern is that if Namibia loses its zero tariff status for exports to the EU, the Namibian fishing industry will incur higher exports cost for secondary processed products over lesser processed products,” Amukwa added.

Read more at namibian.com