By Eveline de Klerk
SWAKOPMUND – A delegation from the City of Atlanta in the USA is in Namibia to explore investment opportunities in the areas of sea and air transport as well as tourism.
The delegation is also keen on exploring business opportunities in mining, export and import as well as collaboration on port and airport developments.
They are specifically looking to invest in the country’s Erongo Region.
Erongo governor Cleophas Mutjavikua told the visiting delegation that Namibia is endowed with raw materials that are currently shipped out in its raw form.
He said the exportation of raw materials robs Namibia of many opportunities, including jobs.
He cited, as an example, that granite and marble that are extracted in the country are currently being processed in China, Italy and South Africa and finds their way back to Namibia at a costly price.
“Hence we are focused on manufacturing as it is the only way that we can turn our economy around,” Mutjavikua remarked.
Mutjavikua also said that Namibia is keen to capitalise on Atlanta’s booming tourism sector. The city has the best located airport that links Africa via Kenya.
“This route can also bring us more tourism opportunities as we are regarded as one of the best tourism countries in the world and Atlanta can play a huge part in this sector for us,” Mutjavikua explained.
Also speaking at the business engagement, Namport CEO Bisey /Uirab said that he wanted to encourage trade along the east coast Port of New Jersey in America, as it is closer to Africa.
“We have visited the port already and have seen the possibilities it offers in terms of increasing trade volumes between Africa and America through the ports of Walvis Bay and New Jersey,” /Uirab said.
The group was accompanied by former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young, who also serves as the mayor of Atlanta.
The delegation visited, Namport, the saltpans as well as various fishing factories in Walvis Bay yesterday.
Governor Mutjavikua says that all ideas can only materialise if foreign direct investment opportunities are part of development discussions in this regard.
Eveline de Klerk