President Mbeki to Co-Chair SA-Namibia Head of State Economic Bilateral Forum

Pretoria - South African President Thabo Mbeki, will on Tuesday 21 November 2006 pay a working visit to Windhoek, Namibia where he will together with his counterpart President Hifikepunye Pohamba co-chair the 6th session of the South Africa - Namibia Heads of State Economic Bilateral Forum scheduled for later in the day.

President Mbeki's delegation is expected to include Ministers Mandisi Mphalwa, Martinus van Schalkwyk and Alec Erwin.

President Mbeki will participate in this session of the Economic Bilateral Forum within the context of South Africa's commitment to consolidate economic bilateral relations with Namibia.

Issues on the agenda of discussions of this session of the Economic Bilateral Forum are expected to include, among others:

  • Spatial Development Initiatives (SDI) including the Trans-Kalahari Highway, Walvis Bay SDI, Okavango-Upper Zambezi International Tourism and the Ais-Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park;
  • Energy Issues including the Kudu Gas Project, Western Power Corridor and the SAPP Intergovernmental MoU;
  • Trade and Industry Issues including the SACU and SADC Protocols;
  • Marine and Coastal Management Issues;
  • Civil aviation issues; and
  • Namibia's support during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Bilateral trade between South Africa and Namibia accounts for two thirds of Namibia's total foreign trade. South Africa is the source of about 84% of Namibia's imports by value, including virtually all commodities except for petroleum products. Food, beverages and increasingly machinery and transport equipment as well as other manufactured goods are the biggest import categories. Namibia's exports to South Africa are estimated at 27.8% of the country's total exports and consist mainly of live animals, meat, fish and mineral products.

South Africa is Namibia's most important economic partner as South Africa is the source of 84% of Namibia's imports and holds approximately 80% of investments in key industries in Namibia such as mining, retail, banking and insurance. Total investments by South Africa in Namibia currently amount to US$1 637.5 million.

President Mbeki is expected to return to South Africa on Tuesday 21 November 2006.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152

20 November 2006

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