Nam and China mull visa deal

‘Will boost trade and tourism’

01 October 2019 | International

Namibia and China are discussing a visa-free agreement which, according to economists, would have a positive impact on Namibia's growth.

This was announced by the Chinese ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, during a reception to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China last week.

“If successfully concluded, this agreement will tremendously promote people-to-people exchanges between our two countries,” Yiming said. Home affairs minister Frans Kapofi confirmed that Namibia and China were in discussion and said Namibia was keen to work with China.

“We want to work together and to see if Chinese can come to Namibia and Namibians to China. We have not yet agreed on anything,” said Kapofi.

Economist Omu Kakujaha-Matundu believes this move will pay off and he is optimistic that it will significantly increase the number of Chinese tourists to Namibia.

“I think it is a great idea to boost trade - to attract Chinese business people to come to Namibia and explore business opportunities as well as to tap into our tourist market,” he said.



Bilateral relations

Yiming said his government had given more than 30 scholarships and about 300 short-term training slots to Namibians.

For this year, 57 Namibian students were awarded scholarships and 400 short-term training opportunities will be available in China.

He added that China had completed the Rietfontein Youth Training Centre at a cost of about N$400 million. China has also donated four modern greenhouses in the Kavango East, West, Zambezi and Kunene regions. The Chinese government also pledged N$15 million through the United Nations World Food Programme to offer food aid to drought-stricken Namibians in the Kavango East and West regions. “And the Chinese community in Namibia is to collectively donate N$2 million for the drought relief of Namibia. It is our sincere hope that Namibia can overcome the natural disaster and restore its momentum of economic and social development,” he said.

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