Local beef industry prepares for Brexit repercussions
The Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Hon Tjekero Tweya, said Namibia is putting measures in place to protect its beef exports to Europe against the possible repercussions of Brexit by exploring new and direct markets among the current European Union member states.
The bulk of local premium beef enters the EU market via the United Kingdom. However, the government fears that with the Brexit uncertainty, particularly regarding customs arrangements, beef exports could be limited or go through a cumbersome process of EU import regulations and protocols all over again.
“We are, especially myself, praying on a daily basis that things should go right. I would not want to hear or experience that Namibian products, especially beef, has landed in Amsterdam destined for the United Kingdom and suddenly they say ‘Sorry, we do not have any agreement with your country’. It is going to be a serious disappointment. Therefore, it is our responsibility to already look for alternative markets so that in the event that no trade agreements are signed, Namibia does not sit with products that do not have a market,” Tweya said.
EU Ambassador to Namibia, Janna Hybaskova, agrees that Brexit could cause difficulties for export-reliant economies doing business with the EU.
“We strongly advise Meatco to move out of the EU because Brexit is going to happen. The company needs to be established throughout the rest of Europe, be it in Paris or Frankfurt. Therefore, my strong advice would be to move their European representation from London to some other capital within Europe,” Hybaskova said.