Statement by President Jacob Zuma at media briefing following SA-Namibia Economic Bilateral Meeting

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Presidential Guest House

Your Excellency, President Pohamba,
Delegates from Namibia and South Africa,
Members of the media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have just completed the South Africa-Namibia Heads of State Economic Bilateral Meeting.

It is one of the most important vehicles through which our two countries pursue greater economic cooperation.

The agreement(s) that we have signed today and the deliberations we have held represent a significant step forward in our relations.

South Africa and Namibia are more than neighbours.

We share a common history of struggle against colonialism and apartheid.
We have a deep political, economic, social and cultural relationship.
We share a common desire for the development of our peoples, and for the integration of our region.

This meeting outlined a number of areas in which we can further enhance economic cooperation.

These include areas like transport, logistics and energy.

We have agreed to pursue further the development of transport corridors in the region, to foster trade and facilitate the movement of goods.

Where appropriate, we will also be engaging with third countries like Botswana and Angola.

Namibia and South Africa share a common vision of economic integration in Southern Africa.

We are committed to build on existing agreements towards regional consensus on trade, investment and monetary arrangements that benefit all the countries of the region.

There are a number of specific industries in which our two countries can effectively work together.

One of these is tourism, where the trans-frontier conservation areas hold great potential for increasing the region's share of the global tourism market.
Another area is agriculture.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed earlier this year, paving the way for greater exchange of skills, knowledge and technology.

Because South Africa and Namibia have some of the best astronomical viewing conditions in the world, we are collaborating in such areas as the bid for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

South Africa and Namibia share more than an historical interest in each other's success.

We both stand to benefit from the economic growth and development of both countries.

As South Africa we are therefore committed to deepen these bilateral economic arrangements.

South Africa and Namibia each possesses valuable economic assets and capabilities.

Through cooperation we can ensure that we maximise the benefits of these assets for both countries.

By working together we can improve our shared competitive advantage in a number of areas.

Lastly, I wish to thank President Pohamba and his delegation for being able to join us for this important meeting.

We look forward to the benefits that it will bring to all our people.
I thank you.