Local organisations and companies sensitised on the export and import opportunities under the Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU
The Minister of Industrialisation and Trade, Lucia Iipumbu officiated the SADC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Trade Forum and jointly launched the EPA Implementation Plan at an event in Windhoek on Monday.
The one-day event was held under the theme: “Towards increased and diversified trade under the EPA by ensuring inclusivity, sustainability, and economic growth”.
The purpose of the EPA Trade forum was to sensitise local organisations and companies on the export and import opportunities under the Economic Partnership Agreement between Namibia and the EU, as well as provide a platform to exchange experiences to find solutions and identify ways to increase trade flows.
“The EPA Implementation Plan for Namibia which we are also launching is geared towards attaining the objectives of the SADC – EU EPA and ensuring that the potential benefits that can accrue from it are fully utilised by the intended beneficiaries, which include exporters, importers, consumers, and the entire business fraternity,” she added.
According to Iipumbu, the Namibian EPA Implementation Plan was developed with the support of financial assistance from the EU.
“We are further happy to note that the Plan is being implemented with the support of the EU through a Financing Agreement between National Planning Commission and the European Union
Delegation. The launch of the implementation plan and its implementation was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic interruptions,” she said.
According to the statement, the Forum will have several interactive engagements and presentations focusing on opportunities for Namibian and EU traders, agriculture and agro-processing, manufacturing, and trade facilitation and logistics.
Namibia and five other SADC Member States (Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, and South Africa) signed the EPA in June 2016, which provisionally came into force in October 2016 and was fully implemented in February 2018 upon ratification.
The EPA provides duty-free, quota-free market access into the EU for exports from partner states like Namibia, subject to rules of origin and adherence to international and regional quality standards.