The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (NCCI’s) Chief Executive Officer, Tarah Shaanika, recently returned from what he called a successful business trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Shaanika undertook this mission on behalf of the chamber to engage key Congolese decision-makers, including that country’s President Joseph Kabila in order to bring to his attention trade matters of concern between the two countries. “The DRC is a strategic and desirable market for Namibian business, so we are very pleased to have the commitment of both Heads of State,” said Shaanika. The two chambers have also created a bilateral dialogue platform, agreeing to meet twice annually to review agreements between the two organisations.
According to Shaanika the NCCI successfully engaged Congolese President Joseph Kabila, president of the DRC Chamber Albert Yuma, as well as prominent individuals in the Congolese private sector. “President Kabila and his government have undertaken to address all the issues of concern raised, in an effort to create a favourable environment that will promote free trade and access between our two countries,” according to Shaanika. The visit was organised following an invitation by the President of the DRC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Albert Yuma, who visited Namibia in June this year. In this initial meeting, the two chambers identified and discussed restrictive trade matters, which they agreed to present to their respective governments.
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These issues included the establishment of a bilateral commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation to take advantage of the numerous opportunities for business and trade between the two countries. Such a commission was proposed to involve government representatives at policy level and should ideally be chaired by the Heads of States on an annual and rotating basis. Moreover, the parties also resolved to work towards the reduction and/or removal of duties applicable to products traded between the two countries, which have proven to be a serious hindrance to increasing trade volumes. It was also proposed that the two countries negotiate and enter into a bilateral trade agreement aimed at, amongst others, reducing and eliminating import duties for strategic products, to be determined by the two governments. It was also agreed that the government of the DRC would speed up the process of ratifying and implementing important multilateral arrangements, such as the SADC Protocol on Trade.
Read more at allAfrica.