President Hakainde Hichilema has underscored Government’s desire to streamline and reduce unnecessary bureaucracy on matters of trade and investment between Zambia and Namibia.
Officiating at the 2022 Swakopmund International Trade Expo (SWAiTEX), in Swakopmund, Namibia on Wednesday, President Hichilema said unnecessary bureaucracy on matters of trade and investment should be reduced among countries in the Southern African region as well.
The Swakopmund International Trade Expo is an annual international event organized under the auspices of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry and attracts several investors.
President Hichilema is in Namibia for a four day state visit at the invitation of that country’s President Hage Geingob.
Delivering a keynote address at the Expo, President Hichilema said the presence of both government and private business leaders at the Expo underscores the two countries willingness to improve trade.
The Head of State implored the Namibian and Zambian business leaders to view their governments as partners in development agenda as they share the same vision of serving their local populations by uplifting their standards of living.
President Hichilema said he was in Namibia to market Zambia.
“We were delighted to have officiated at the 2022 Swakopmund International Trade Expo (SWAiTEX), in Swakopmund, Erongo Region of the Republic of Namibia.We conveyed our profound gratitude to His Excellency Dr Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia for inviting and hosting us in the iconic Tourist City of Swakopmund.The presence of both government and private business leaders at the Expo underscores the two nations’ desire to streamline and reduce unnecessary bureaucracy on matters of Trade and Investment between our Governments and the Private Sector of our two Countries and the Region,” President Hichilema stated.
This year’s Expo is being held under the theme: “Towards a Shared Economic Vision – Our Shared Destiny.”
‘We thanked the Namibian Government and the people for availing Zambia the Walvis Bay Dry Port, that has made it easier for our country to diversify our trade routes.We implored the Namibian and Zambian business leaders to view their governments as partners in development agenda as they share the same vision of serving their local populations by uplifting their standards of living. We encouraged them to ensure that their businesses were interwoven by forming joint ventures with the local population, in order for them to receive the necessary support and solidarity.We are here to market Zambia as well,” he said.
During his visit, the President is expected to engage with both potential investors and partners to advance efforts to re-establish Zambia as an investment destination of choice.
Mr. Hichilema will also on the sidelines of the expo, attend the Zambia-Namibia Business Seminar where he is also expected to deliver a keynote statement.
Before officiating at the Expo, President Hichilema highlighted the need to reinforce the existing strong bilateral relations between Zambia and Namibia.
“In line with our declaration that Zambia is open for business once again, we shall actively engage with potential investors and partners to advance efforts to re-establish Zambia as an investment destination of choice and set out our Government’s vision for a resilient and sustainable economy that delivers benefits for all Zambians.We fully realise that our civil service cannot absorb everyone in terms of job opportunities hence our quest to seek for potential investors to partner with our citizens in mining, finance, tourism, energy, transport, medical, education, fisheries, logistics, commercial and retail services, construction, among others and create quality jobs for our citizens in the private sector. Our participation in this trade and investment Expo also underscores our desire to deepen intra-African trade and collaboration for countries in the southern African region and the continent at large.We thank you for your prayers and support.God bless Zambia,” President Hichilema added.
Prior to the Namibia trip, President Hichilema had officially opened the first ever Western Province Trade, Tourism and Investment Expo where a number of local and international exhibitors in various sectors showcased their products and businesses.
“Our mission is to continue accelerating our economic transformation agenda by displaying some of the key areas available for investment opportunities in our country. We reiterated our call to our citizens to be patriotic by investing locally as our country is endowed with huge economic potential, with Western Province in particular capable of feeding the nation from the vast resources of the Barotse plains, where basically any crops and livestock can be harnessed. We do not accept the long held notion that Western Province, or indeed any part of our country, is poor. We have to change this mindset of poverty by taking advantage of the many business opportunities that are being opened up,” President Hichilema commented on the Western Province Trade, Tourism and Investment Expo.
He said the New Dawn Government is looking forward to increased economic activities that will translate into creation of quality jobs for our citizens, especially the youth and women.
“For example, in the value addition sector, we should not accept a situation where timber logs in their raw form from Western Province is being cut and loaded into trucks to the international markets, yet your government has provided huge business opportunities in the manufacturing of desks in the country, same applies to copper and other natural resources that require value addition.We thanked the business community and other cooperating partners who have so far shown great interest by providing added incentives such as reduced bank interest rates for our people to seize available opportunities.From these business opportunities, we look forward to increased economic activities that will translate into creation of quality jobs for our citizens, especially the youth and women,” the Head of State said.