Strategy to increase tariff-free exports to the United States launched
The Minister of Industrialisation and Trade Lucia Iipumbu, joined by U.S. Ambassador Lisa Johnson, launched the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Utilization Strategy on Monday, 10 May.
The strategy seeks to increase Namibia’s exports under the AGOA programme, which allows Namibia to export over 6,400 products tariff-free to the United States.
The AGOA strategy is a collaboration between the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade and other stakeholders, including the Namibian private sector, with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
According to the Embassy, the strategy provides a prioritized roadmap on how Namibia can increase its exports to the United States under AGOA duty-free market access and recommends steps to address the policy, supply, and market challenges faced by potential Namibian exporters. A body composed of private and public sector representatives will drive the implementation of the AGOA strategy.
The strategy identifies priority sectors and categorizes them into short-term (e.g., beef and fish, semi-precious stones, grapes, dates, devil’s claw), medium-term (e.g., specialty foods/organic pearl millet products, handicrafts, leather products), and long-term (e.g., indigenous natural products) export potential.
Ambassador Johnson affirmed the United States’ commitment to helping Namibia achieve the economic growth goals espoused in Namibia’s 5th National Development Plan, noting, “Exports, through the AGOA program will provide entrepreneurs with a chance to revive firms which have suffered heavily as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and recession, while also providing much-needed employment to help revitalize the economy.”
Meanwhile the U.S. government, through USAID, said it will continue to help Namibian firms increase exports by meeting U.S. market entry requirements and connecting with U.S. companies.