Namibia EU Trade analysis 2018

Imports – The total number of imports from the EU into Namibia was US$ 6.7 billion in 2017. There is a decline of imports from the EU since 2014 on various goods and services consumed in Namibia.

The highest number of imports from the EU is Motor vehicles (US$ 425 million) which are declining since 2015. The second highest imports is copper, followed by medical equipment and telephone sets. Other key imports are tractor parts, tyres and steel.

Exports – The goods exported from Namibia to the EU was US$ 5.2 billion in 2017. The export value declined drastically in 2014 with a slight recovery in 2016 and 2017, the highest record of exports to the EU was recorded at US 6.3 billion in 2013. The major exports from Namibia to the EU is diamonds valued at US$ 1.5 billion in 2017, followed by gold at a mere US$ 427 million. The level of exports remain relatively very low.

Trade Balance - Namibia enjoys a healthy trade balance with the EU meaning exports don’t outweigh imports largely. Namibia’s imports exceed exports by US$ 1.55 billion. The country needs to increase the number of exports to overtake imports from the EU. The trade deficit was wider in 2015 but narrowed down in 2016 and 2017 consecutively.

Future Potential Namibian exports in the EU

It is important to measure Namibian exports into the EU market compared to imports from the rest of the world (including inter-EU trade).  As depicted in the chart below Namibian products only reach a small segment of the European market. The core reason is that inter EU trade is very high which only leaves little room for imports from other countries to occupy in the EU territories.

On one hand Namibia can draw analysis to identify lucrative sectors for export into the EU market, for example the Namibian diamonds reach 8% of the EU market meaning there is huge demand for diamonds in the EU whereby our market is too small to fill. Gold only reaches 1%, fish 3%, zinc 4%, copper 3%, grapes 1% and meat 0.2% of the EU market. Thus if more grapes is produced in Namibia there is room to reach a huge potential market at their disposal.

by: Rodney Dan-Ao !Hoaeb

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SA retailers get to grips with Namibia Charter

SA retailers supplying products to Namibia have to abide by that country’s retail charter, which aims to control access to the local market to allow for the development of local suppliers.

The Spar Group is among those finding it challenging to operate in Namibia because local supplies are not always readily available. The retail charter was introduced by the Namibian government in 2016 to promote increased procurement of locally grown and manufactured goods. It has become the Achilles heel for SA retailers, which would largely have home products in their stores. 

According to the Namibian Trade Forum, one of the main objectives of the charter is to increase the retail shelf space devoted to local products. The charter aims to raise local procurement from 6% of purchases of all retailers, ultimately ensuring that 20% of products are sourced locally. “Should there be a short supply of product, this often results in stores not having sufficient stock for at least two weeks, if not longer,” said Mark Godfrey, group financial director at Spar.

Independent retailers connected with Spar are able to source up to 70% of their product requirements from local suppliers or manufacturers in Namibia. Spar’s sourcing is done by the group’s Namibian buying office in Windhoek. “Suppliers see them on a regular basis and discuss retail product requirements for the stores in Namibia,” Godfrey said.

“Trading arrangements are negotiated on behalf of our retailers and, once in place, retailers are encouraged to support them by placing orders directly on these suppliers for direct delivery.” “Spar manages the financial administration on behalf of the retailers, thereby also giving the suppliers further financial security of payment.”

Pick n Pay, which has 38 stores in Namibia, has franchise partners that actively seek out Namibian products. “Our franchise MD in Namibia is the chairman of the Retail Charter Council and we work constructively with government and communities wherever we operate,” said David North, group executive for strategy and corporate affairs. North said that in Namibia, Pick n Pay buys as much local product as it can obtain, particularly meat, fruit and vegetables.

A spokesperson for Shoprite, which has the largest store network of 152 stores in Namibia, said the group “is supportive of general transformation and opportunities for investment in local economies that aim to uplift the geographical areas and countries that we trade in and the people that we do business with”.

Godfrey said the Namibian government has been involved in the matter “and we appreciate this as well as our retailers’ commitment to support local suppliers where possible”.


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Namibian Retail Charter advances, as stakeholders meet

In what was widely regarded as an essential step to transform the Namibian Retail sector, stakeholders recently met in Windhoek to advance plans for a negotiated transformational model for that sector. The stakeholders meeting was facilitated by the Namibia Trade Forum (NTF), an agency of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, with the objective to map out the formation of Task Teams, their terms of references, as well as the guidelines to guide the development of the Namibian Retail Charter.

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