Tawanda Musarurwa–Senior Business Reporter
The Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG in collaboration with the Namibia Ports Authority and the Ministry of Works and Transport, and other key industry stakeholders in Namibia will be conducting a trade mission to Zimbabwe from this Friday to July 2, 2021.
The Walvis Bay Corridors also serves as a real alternative to link Zimbabwe to Europe, North America as well as South America, and by Walvis Bay local importers and exporters can save more than 10 days in transit time to markets in Europe and the Americas.
Zimbabwe’s Dry Port Facility at Walvis Bay in Namibia was completed in 2019, and the facility is expected to boost trade and bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and Namibia.
But more importantly for trade, it is anticipated that this facility will spearhead the growth of more imports and exports for the Zimbabwean market by the use of Walvis Bay.
Said WBCG marketing and communications officer Maria Paulus: “The main aim of the trade mission is to engage the Zimbabwean business community, industries, economic sectors such as mining, agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing to explore the opportunities and viability of using the Walvis Bay Port and the Zimbabwe Dry Port Facility for exports and imports to and from Zimbabwe.
“The synergies and collaboration are aimed at promoting social, economic progress and enhancing deeper regional and continental integration.
“The joint group plans to have virtual information as well as conduct business to business (B2B) engagements whilst observing strict adherence to Covid-19 health protocols,” she said.
“It should be noted that this will be the first joint visit by multi-stakeholders from Namibia to Zimbabwe, organised by the WBCG.
“In addition, the mission will also assess the two corridors, namely, the TransKalahari Corridor (TKC) and Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Corridor (WBNLDC) that are linking the Port of Walvis Bay with Zimbabwe.”
The trade mission to Zimbabwe was preceded by the recent visit of the Zimbabwe Minister of Transport and Infrastructural Development Felix Mhona.
The purpose of his visit was to understand the operations of the Zimbabwe Dry Port Facility and the Port of Walvis Bay, as well as discuss issues of mutual interest between the two countries.
Zimbabwean imports and exports have an option either to use the Transkalahari Corridor or TransCaprivi Corridor as the trade corridor linkage from Europe and the Americas.
The Trans-Kalahari route is also a much faster route for road transportation, as it saves about five to seven days in transit for Botswana imports and exports compared to some of other ports in the region for cargo from European and American markets. Herald