USAID TradeHub facilitates N$43 million worth of AGOA exports over three years
The US Embassy on Wednesday held a meeting with the government and representatives of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to reflect on the past six years of the Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub (USAID TradeHub).
The event brought together Namibian manufacturers and exporters to tell about their experiences, successes, and lessons learned in enhancing the flow of trade and capital between Namibia, South Africa, and the United States, especially under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), said US Embassy spokesperson, Perry Stamp, in a statement.
The US Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires, Jessica Long stated, “The United States is a proud partner of the private sector in Namibia, particularly firms seeking to explore opportunities in the South African and U.S. markets through the AGOA.”
According to Long, through the USAID TradeHub, the United States helped Namibian firms achieve AGOA and non-AGOA-related exports valued at N$43 million over the past three years.
“These successes include AvaGro, which received support from USAID to break into the South African market after attaining a vital agricultural practices standard; and Desert Hills, which, through the TradeHub, participated in the 2022 Summer Fancy Food Show in New York to connect with potential buyers and is now better positioned to export to the United States market,” said the Chargé d’Affaires.
Meanwhile, thanks to the USAID TradeHub, Namibian firms are now seeing advances in export readiness. This comes after local firms have gained confidence and skills in pitching their products to potential international buyers, improving their ability to close deals.
“Companies with a clear export strategy and plan are more focused and effective in terms of addressing the specific requirements and succeeding with exports.”
In total, the USAID TradeHub successfully assisted 106 Namibian firms in engaging in business-to-business events with potential buyers, showcasing their products, and starting new business discussions, revealed Long.
Accordingly, the USAID TradeHub further provided Namibian companies support in obtaining certifications that enable access to overseas markets and premium prices.
In May 2021, the government of Namibia launched an AGOA Utilization Strategy. This strategy, developed with support from the USAID TradeHub, the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade, and the private sector, provide a roadmap of recommendations for diversifying Namibia’s exports under the AGOA program
Additionally, a year ago, Plastic Packaging, a TradeHub partner, won the inaugural Namibia Exporter of the Year Award and proceeded to win the Regional Exporter of the Year Award for 2021 in South Africa.
“Plastic Packaging employs close to 500 people in Namibia, Angola, and South Africa, and benefits from the USAID TradeHub’s support with migration testing, a buyer requirement to ensure that the product is safe for use with food,” she added.
“Growing our bilateral economic and commercial relationship is one of the US government’s top priorities. Commercial diplomacy is central to our foreign policy. And the United States, like Namibia, is committed to finding ways to foster equality and equity in our country and build a more inclusive economy for all.”