TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Namibia: Geingob to lead AGOA Forum delegation

Sunday, 02 December 2001

Source: Namibian Economist

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon Dr Hage Geingob will lead the Namibian delegation to the 10th Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) forum to be held in Washington, D.C from the 2nd to 6th August.

The forum is an important platform for dialogue between the USA and sub-Sahara African (SSA) countries for the implementation of AGOA. AGOA will expire in 2014.

According to a statement issued by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Dr Malan Lindeque, the AGOA forum was signed into law in May 2000 with the aim to facilitate market access concessions to SSA countries for a period of five years.

It was, however, extended by the United States government to eligible SSA countries to promote trade and investment between the United States and SSA countries by providing non-reciprocal trade preferences for over 6400 products originating from the SSA countries.

The 2010 AGOA forum is divided into two parts; a Ministerial Forum to be held in Washington D.C on the 2nd and 3rd August and an Agribusiness Forum to be held on the 5th and 6th August in Kansas City.

The agenda for the forum will cover issues of trade and economic cooperation between the USA and SSA countries and highlight a number of critical economic issues such as increasing intra-Africa trade, strengthening and expanding U.S.-African trade and investment relations, and Africa’s competitiveness, among other issues.

The Agribusiness Forum will specifically focus on agribusiness linkages and is expected to provide an opportunity to participating African countries and other private sector representatives to interact with and engage representatives of the U.S. administration and business leaders on issues of business.

The Namibian delegation is expected to use this forum to have bilateral meetings with relevant U.S. representatives on issues of mutual interest especially trade and investment, and particularly market access for Namibia meat, grapes and fish.

The minister and his delegation are also expected to raise issues such as: Non-tariff barriers (NTBs) of interest to Namibian companies that intend exporting to the US taking advantage of AGOA, extension of AGOA beyond 2014 in order to allow Namibia and other eligible countries to build or gear up their industrial production and supply capacities.

Representatives from the ministries of Trade and Industry, Agriculture, Water and Forestry, and Fisheries and Marine Resources, and a representative from the meat board and agricultural trade forum will accompany Dr. Geingob.