Blue Economy beckons investors to Erongo
Despite attracting less exhibitors than last year, the Erongo Business and Tourism Expo which started this week, is upbeat about the region’s growth.
Opening the fair on Wednesday, the Chief Executive Officer of the Namibian Ports Authority, Bisey Uirab, said the Erongo and Business Tourism Expo has become the second largest commercial exposition after the trade fair in Ongwediva.
Namport, Erongo RED and Guans Packaging are the main sponsors of the expo with the Municipality of Walvis Bay taking care of organising the event.
Stating that the expo has become a household name, Uirab said “since 2010 Namport invested over N$2 million for the hosting of this exposition, primarily to complement government policies to attain Vision 2030 which wants to see Namibia become an industrialized country, developed by skilled human resources to eradicate poverty, disease and under‐development.”
Mr. Nico Niemand, the acting Chief Executive Officer of Erongo RED said “we value our partnership with NamPort and the Municipality of Walvis Bay and we are looking forward to work together on future projects to uplift the livelihood of our communities.”
Uirab continued, “The Erongo Region is endowed with an abundance of wealth, much in the form of natural and mineral resources, as well as a booming tourism sector. After mining; the fishing industry is ranked Namibia’s second biggest exporter and earner of foreign currency, and the third largest economic sector in terms of its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”
“Namport remains committed to the upliftment of the communities in which we operate as well as to actively support national social investment drives. I call upon my counterparts in the fishing and mining sectors to actively engage in events of this nature so that we collectively expand economic opportunities in our region and country through collaborative action” he added.
Mentioning the impact of the current economic slump, Uirab stated that Namport’s focus for the next financial period will be on growing its volumes that took a nose dive due to the prevailing global economic melt-down, as well as to drive improved performance and efficiencies; curbing costs and harnessing the economic growth opportunities presented by the ocean, in the form of the Blue Economy.
The four main pillars of the blue economy and its relevance to the country are fisheries, mining and energy, tourism and maritime transport.
“These pillars present excellent opportunities for our ports and we as stakeholders come together and create a dialogue platform with regards to the economic benefits that Namibia can derive from our ocean. The Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy 2050, formulated by our African Heads of State provides guidelines on how we as Africans and in our case, Namibia can foster increased wealth creation from our oceans and seas by developing a sustainable thriving Blue Economy in a secure and environmentally sustainable manner” he said.
“It is my desire that through the envisaged Blue Economy Dialogue Platform, Namibia will establish an understanding and appreciation of the existing and potential challenges, including allocation of resources to identified priorities over a pre-determined time-frame.”
Wedneday’s opening ceremony was also attend by Hon. Pieter van der Walt, the Deputy Minister of Industrialization, Trade and SME Development, and Hon. Cleophas Mutjavikua, the Governor of the Erongo Region and the patron of the Namport Erongo Business and Tourism Expo.