Country Info: Namibia

Namibia

Bilateral Trade by Sector: United States - Namibia

Value ('1000 dollars), US 'domestic exports' *, US 'imports for consumption' / Includes year-to-date data

Economic Background

Namibia’s economy is heavily dependent on the extraction and processing of minerals for export. Mining accounts for about 12.5% of GDP, but provides more than 50% of foreign exchange earnings. Rich alluvial diamond deposits make Namibia a primary source for gem-quality diamonds. Marine diamond mining is increasingly important as the terrestrial diamond supply has dwindled. The rising cost of mining diamonds, especially from the sea, combined with increased diamond production in Russia and China, has reduced profit margins. Namibian authorities have emphasized the need to add value to raw materials, do more in-country manufacturing, and exploit the services market, especially in the logistics and transportation sectors.

Namibia is one of the world’s largest producers of uranium. The Chinese-owned Husab uranium mine began producing uranium ore in 2017, and is expected to reach full production in August 2018 and produce 15 million pounds of uranium a year. Namibia also produces large quantities of zinc and is a smaller producer of gold and copper. Namibia's economy remains vulnerable to world commodity price fluctuations and drought.

Namibia normally imports about 50% of its cereal requirements; in drought years, food shortages are problematic in rural areas. A high per capita GDP, relative to the region, obscures one of the world's most unequal income distributions; the current government has prioritized exploring wealth redistribution schemes while trying to maintain a pro-business environment. GDP growth in 2017 slowed to about 1%, however, due to contractions in both the construction and mining sectors, as well as an ongoing drought. Growth is expected to recover modestly in 2018.

A five-year Millennium Challenge Corporation compact ended in September 2014. As an upper middle income country, Namibia is ineligible for a second compact. The Namibian economy is closely linked to South Africa with the Namibian dollar pegged one-to-one to the South African rand. Namibia receives 30%-40% of its revenues from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU); volatility in the size of Namibia's annual SACU allotment and global mineral prices complicates budget planning.

Agricultural products

roots/tubers nes, milk, maize, onions, beef, grapes, fruit, pulses nes, vegetables, millet

Industries

meatpacking, fish processing, dairy products, pasta, beverages; mining (diamonds, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten, uranium, copper)

Industrial production growth rate

-0.4% (2017 est.)

(Source: World Factbook, 2021)

View related news articles

USAID and Namibian government showcase successes in Namibia

Today, the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of the United States to Namibia Jessica Long and representatives of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), together with the Namibian Government, reflected on the past six years of the Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub (USAID TradeHub).  The event in Windhoek brought together stakeholders from the Namibian market to share experiences, successes, and lessons...

03 August 2022

Namibia: Trade ministry and USAID TradeHub bring AGOA capacity building into focus

Last year, Namibia launched its AGOA Utilisation Strategy with the objective of diversifying and increasing its exports to the United States of America under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The strategy chiefly seeks to assist Namibia to develop its competitiveness in utilising the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) that provides eligible countries with duty free access to the lucrative USA market.  Now, Namibia...

06 June 2022

Namibia: Ambassador keen to expand country's Meatco market

Namibian ambassador to the USA Margaret Mensah-Williams recently conducted a familiarisation visit at Meatco, expressing her satisfaction at the manner the institution is operating and fulfilling its mandate.   Mensah-Williams, who was welcomed by Meatco CEO Mwilima Mushokabanji, was particularly impressed by the vast experience and knowledge Meatco has in producing high-quality beef products that are highly competitive in the advanced...

20 January 2022

Namibia: American delegation looks for renewable energy opportunities

President Hage Geingob on Friday hosted a delegation from the United States of America at State House. A delegation of businesspeople, accompanied by lawmakers from several states, was in Namibia to look out for opportunities, particularly in the renewable energy industry. Before the closed-door meeting, Geingob said Namibia is a peaceful country that has gone through peaceful transitions of power. He informed the delegation that Namibia has...

24 August 2021

Namibia: Local exporters urged to take continental market route as companies shine at exporter awards

Minister of Industrialisation and Trade Lucia Iipumbu said a number of export markets have been secured for Namibian exporters, including in Africa, and encouraged all local producers to seize opportunities of continental access.  Iipumbu made these remarks when she officiated at the first Namibia Annual Exporter Awards last week. The awards were held in collaboration between the USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub (USAID...

09 August 2021

Namibia launches AGOA strategy to increase tariff-free exports to the United States

Today, U.S. Ambassador Lisa Johnson joined Minister of Industrialisation and Trade Lucia Iipumbu to officially launch Namibia’s African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Utilization Strategy. The strategy seeks to increase Namibia’s exports under the AGOA program, which allows Namibia to export over 6,400 products tariff-free to the United States. This joint effort to develop the AGOA strategy is part of the United States’ efforts to...

11 May 2021

Namibia: Meatco hailed for beef export success … ‘nothing good comes easy’

Minister of International Relations and Corporation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah yesterday hailed the exportation of Namibian beef to the United States, describing it as a “great achievement” in the advancement of the country economic diplomacy.  Nandi-Ndaitwah made the remarks during the sending off of the first container of 25 tons of Namibian beef to the US, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s largest city yesterday, making Namibia the first...

21 February 2020

USAID Southern Africa to support upcoming Swakopmund international trade expo

The USAID/Southern Africa will collaborate with the government and the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) for the upcoming 7th Swakopmund International Trade Expo (SWAITEX). Dr Takele Tassew, Agriculture and Trade Advisor for the USAID/Southern Africa Regional Economic Growth Office, confirmed in a statement that this partnership is possible because of a meeting they had with the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and SME...

03 October 2019

US to deepen partnership with Namibia

The United States is working closely with Namibia to realise further growth in trade and investment between the two countries. United States (US) ambassador to Namibia, Lisa Johnson at a media briefing on Friday said her government is working closely to raise US companies' awareness about opportunities in Namibia which support development goals. Johnson made these remarks in line with the US's new trade and investment opportunity programme,...

15 July 2019

Namibia encouraged to make more use of AGOA

THE United States of America's ambassador to Namibia, Lisa Johnson has encouraged Namibian businesses to make use of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), also known as the Trade and Development Act of 2000, was approved by the United States congress in May 2000. It promotes duty-free market access to the US to assist the economies of sub-Saharan Africa, and to improve economic...

06 July 2018

Namibia seeks to take advantage of AGOA

The Namibian government is working on a strategy to take maximum advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) that has been extended till 2025, the Namibian Press Agency has reported. The original Act expires on September 30, 2015. “We are now developing an engagement strategy on how best we can benefit from AGOA as well as ready ourselves for post- 2025 for the new World Trade Agreement compatible arrangement,” director of...

06 July 2015