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Turkish trade relations on new footing

Trade and Industry Minister Hon Calle Schlettwein and Ambassador of Turkey, H.E. Deniz Cakar after signing the economic cooperation agreement. (Photograph by Melba Chipepo)

Trade and Industry Minister Hon Calle Schlettwein and Ambassador of Turkey, H.E. Deniz Cakar after signing the economic cooperation agreement. (Photograph by Melba Chipepo)

In an effort to improve trade relations between Namibia and Turkey, Trade and Industry Minister Hon. Calle Schlettwein and Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in Namibia, Her Excellency Deniz Cakar this week signed an economic cooperation agreement.
The agreement covers investment promotion, trade facilitation, visa exemptions, tourism cooperation, and airline cooperation. Referring to the NDP 4-envisaged logistics hub, Schlettwein said the agreement is Namibia’s first step into selling itself as a gateway to SADC and improve investment flow into the country. “This agreement will assist our economic policy and put an emphasis on improved trade with finished goods from both sectors , a committee will be created to implement the facets of the agreement which also entails attracting more Turkish nationals into exploring business opportunities in Namibia”.
He also said the agreement with regards to airlines seeks to link Namibia’s airline with other modes of transport and improve [the operation of] Namibia’s airline as well as prioritizing the provision of aviation services through improving airports in the country. He hopes that this will be achieved through a memorandum of understanding that was signed between Turkish Airlines and Air Namibia which entails capacity building between the two airlines and the training of Namibian stewardesses.
Schlettwein stressed that although trade between the two countries is limited, it has much scope to grow and that this agreement is the first step to implement a larger framework of cooperation.

“Currently Turkey’s population stands at 76 million, and almost 28 million of its population  is in the labour force. It is the 6th biggest economy in Europe and the 17th biggest in the world, so it has a lot to offer Namibia”, said Cakar adding that she is hopeful for future cooperation between the two countries especially in tourism.
Namibia has had trade relations with Turkey since the 1960’s but the first Turkish Embassy in an independent Namibia was only established in 2012. Cakar described the new agreement as a milestone for Turkey as the country had been wishing to establish a strong presence in Namibia since the opening of the embassy. Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon Tweya Tjekero welcomed the move and said he also hopes that the agreement will boost both countries’ economies. He said he is positive that it will increase the volume of trade between the two countries as Namibia is a gate way to SADC just as Turkey is to Europe.
Turkey imports seal products and fish from Namibia and Namibia imports electronics and metals. In 2012 bilateral trade volumes between the two countries stood at N$98 million.

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Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

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20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.