Industrialisation and Trade Minister Lucia Iipumbu has expressed dissatisfaction with Namibia’s exports to Japan, which currently stand at around N.dollars 90 million.
Iipumbu told the media at the State House on Tuesday that there is a need for a competitive agreement between Namibia and Japan to improve trade between the two countries.
The minister said Namibia trades with Japan on the most favoured nations agreement.
“But if we have a competitive agreement that we signed, both parties would then have tariffs that are negotiated at the end of the day. It will improve on our trade statistics,” she said.
She said Namibia imports goods and services from Japan worth N.dollars 1.4 billion, noting that: “We need to change the statistics around and we need to have an agreement that focuses on sectors that we are not collaborating at this point in time.”
The minister was speaking in the presence of the Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry, Nishimura Yasutoshi.
Iipumbu and her mines and energy counterpart Tom Alweendo engaged Nishimura and his delegation on bilateral economic relations, including the mineral and green hydrogen sectors.
The discussions were centered on economy, energy, healthcare, industrialisation and production of machinery, as well as the automotive industry, which Iipumbu said will culminate in a joint trade commission with Japan.
She said that bilateral discussions might result in a potential joint trade commission with Japan to improve economic cooperation between the two countries.
On his part, Yasutoshi reaffirmed his country’s willingness to enhance trade and economic cooperation with Namibia.
The two countries signed several agreements including one between Epangelo Mining and the Japan Organisation for Metals and Energy Security on the development of the rare earth industry.