Planned free economic zone aims to turn Namibia into a key regional trade and logistics hub
Global trade enabler DP World and !Nara Namib Free Economic Industrial Zone this week signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a free economic zone for industry and logistics in Walvis Bay to increase Namibia’s trade flows with surrounding markets such as Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi and South Africa.
The facility is expected provide businesses with development-ready land for industrial and logistics operations, pre-built warehouses and office accommodation.
The first phase will be a gross developed area of 50 hectares, with expansion opportunities up to 1,500 hectares. The parties have set the second quarter of 2020 as the target date for reaching a definitive agreement on the project.
Development of the first 50 hectares phase of the zone has the potential to create 3,000 jobs and help attract investment to Namibia worth N$3.5 billion, while the expansion to 1,500 hectares is expected to increase the potential investment to N$25 billion with 20,000 job opportunities.
“Today’s agreement brings us a step closer to fulfilling Namibia’s vast trade and economic development prospects, and we look forward to benefiting from DP World’s global expertise and network in the areas of parks, economic zones, ports and logistics while creating synergies with our strong local footprint and industry reach,” Andre Olivier from !Nara Namib said.
DP World’s potential expansion in Namibia complements its notable presence in other key African nations including Senegal, Rwanda, Mozambique, Egypt, Algeria and Somalia. DP World’s flagship development, Jebel Ali Port, is the largest container port between Rotterdam and Singapore and the 11th largest container port in the world, with an annual capacity of 19.3 Million TEU.
“DP World is pleased to work with !Nara Namib to explore how we can work together to enable smarter trade in Namibia. We believe the country has great potential to expand its role as a hub for the region. The Namibian government’s recent legislation on free zones and efforts to facilitate greater business provides an attractive environment for investment,” Suhail Al Banna, CEO and Managing Director – Middle East and Africa at DP World said.
Caption: Titus Nakuumba – Executive Director of !NARA Namib Free Economic Zone and Suhail Al Banna, CEO and Managing Director – Middle East and Africa at DP World after signing the agreement in Windhoek on 12 November.