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Cut US red tape, says Namibia

Published date:
Friday, 16 November 2007

The president of Namibia, Hifikepunye Pohamba, said today that the US government should fully open up the American market to African apparel, and should exempt both agricultural products and apparel from restrictive importation rules.

Speaking at the US-Africa Business Summit, he gave a shopping list of what Africa wanted from America in order to boost trade and investment here.

Pohamba told his audience of American and African business leaders that the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) was a fine and beautiful thing, but was disappointing in its outcomes.

He pointed out that Namibian grapes were only now being allowed into the US six years after the enactment of Agoa, because of bureaucratic red tape.

He added that Namibian meat was still not allowed to be imported there.

The Namibian leader said the US government should review its subsidies to minimise their effects on African trade.

In addition, he said the US and Africa should consider developing contractual instruments to enhance investment here.

He called for technical co-operation at low rates and with low repayment schedules.

He also said he would like to see the US government create a more dedicated investment facility for Africa.

The business summit, organised by the Corporate Council on Africa and being held for the first time in its 12-year history on African soil, aims to consider the challenges and opportunities for propelling and sustaining US investment in Africa.

Pohamba pointed out that the disappointment that Agoa had brought, was shown in the low level of non-oil trade between the US and Africa, especially in comparison with the levels of trade with the European Union and with China.

"The US imported 44 billion dollars’ worth of goods from sub-Saharan Africa. But non-oil imports amounted to only 3 billion dollars in the same period," he said.

“ Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on

Click here to view a sector profile of Namibia’s bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.

Other regularly updated trade statistics on include: (click each link to view)

  • AGOA-Beneficiary Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Aggregates

  • AGOA Trade by Industry Sector

  • Apparel Trade under AGOA’s Wearing Apparel Provisions

  • Latest Apparel Quotas under AGOA

  • Bilateral Trade Data for all AGOA-eligible countries individually.

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