The Namibian Trade Forum (NTF) recently launched a roadshow promoting the EU-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The EU signed the EPA on 10 June 2016 with the SADC EPA Group comprising Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland.
The agreement became the first regional EPA in Africa to be fully operational after Mozambique joined in February 2018.
The other six members of the Southern African Development Community region – the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Zambia and Zimbabwe – are negotiating Economic Partnership Agreements with the EU as part of other regional groups, namely Central Africa or Eastern and Southern Africa.
The roadshow is aimed at, among other things, creating awareness on opportunities created by the EPA agreement for Namibian businesses and business operators.
Speaking at the launch NTF CEO, Ndiita Nghipondoka-Robiati, said the roadshow will intensify throughout the country - to the coast where there are several fishing companies exporting fishing products and to the South as Namibia exports dates and grapes.
In terms of the EPA, SADC and the EU have agreed to remove import duties on a wide range of qualifying products. This essentially means that Namibia (as part of SADC and thereby the SADC-EU EPA) can import products at more competitive prices compared to products from other regions.
At the same time, it will give Namibian exporters, like Meatco and others, an opportunity to improve their competitiveness on EU markets, as they can now sell their products at competitively lower prices, as the import duties have been removed. This makes it a win-win situation for the importers and exporters.
Namibia is a net meat exporter and the EU market is a prime niche market for Meatco and Namibia in general. In terms of export procedures of animal products, the establishment of origin must comply with the import requirements of the importing country e.g. EU directives.
Meatco also exports beef to the United Kingdom, Norway and Denmark, outside of the EU agreement, in addition to exports to the Reunion, South Africa, Angola, Zimbabwe and minor volumes to other SADC countries.