Zuma concludes Namibian visit

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma and his delegation have concluded a successful working visit to Namibia, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said on Friday.

The visit was within the framework of South Africa-Namibia Heads of State bilateral meeting.

Recognising that increased bilateral cooperation and the growing ties in various sectors have increased, Zuma, who held talks with his counterpart Hifikepunye Pohamba, agreed the current that a Bi-National Commission (BNC) should be held annually.

The BNC will not only focus on economic issues as it is currently the case but will also cover social and security issues.

Spokesperson Saul Molobi said the BNC was a "way of giving meaning to the strategic nature of bilateral relations between the two countries ...and covering a full spectrum of issues of mutual concern. "

Namibia imports more than 80 percent of its goods from South Africa. Almost all Namibian exports end up in South Africa or go via it.

Both countries also belong to the region's customs union SACU. They have not signed the Trade agreements with the European Union, pending the finalisation of negotiations.

Zuma and Pohamba agreed on a package of enhanced co-operation on issues related to the preservation of environment in particular, marine and coastal management, transport and communication, agriculture, energy, science and technology, trade, and issues relating to the region's integration.

The two Presidents also checked progress made in the implementation of major regional projects like the Trans-Kalahari Rail Initiative as well as the Trans Kunene Corridor

"The two Presidents highlighted the importance of this project and expressed the view that its completion will contribute to the intra-regional trade through the movement of goods, services and people," Molobi said.

Zuma was accompanied by a delegation of five ministers and two deputy ministers.