Windhoek — As part of its ongoing efforts to promote the Namibia Logistics Hub Project, the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG), with support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), conducted a Europe benchmarking and study tour late November.
Engaging in business-to-business sessions with transport and logistics industries, the programme included visits to Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
Head of delegation, Clive Smith, WBCG Logistics Hub Manager, is confident that this type of intervention would translate into the successful implementation of the logistics hub project for Namibia.
"Initiatives such as these allow for the continuous sensitisation of markets and customers that we want to attract. WBCG and partners will continue to seek opportunities to promote Namibia's transport and logistics sector and the corridors to the international markets through similar programmes," he reiterated. The group comprised of Namibian officials directly involved in the implementation of the master plan, with the intended purpose of introducing them to international best practices in port operations, as well as the overall logistics systems employed by specifically Germany and the Netherlands, which are both recognized as top logistic nations. The mission came about through WBCG's continued efforts of engaging development partners, specifically GIZ, to gain support for this programme.
The week-long programme included workshops in Hamburg and Rotterdam that saw participants from both the public and private sectors of those countries joining the Namibian team. Ideas were shared on overall logistics and transport programmes and initiatives that focus both on infrastructure and capacity development. The programmes further included site visits to the ports of Hamburg and Rotterdam as well as selected transport and logistics operating companies.
An information session, hosted by WBCG and Namport, was held in Antwerp where selected companies with business or interests into Southern Africa were invited. Namport and WBCG also attended Intermodal Europe 2017 in Amsterdam. Intermodal Europe is the world-leading exhibition and conference for companies associated with the container and intermodal industries and covers all areas of container transport and logistics across road, rail and sea. The event provides an invaluable industry forum, bringing together high-quality speakers and key exhibitors.
The tour saw WBCG renewing its memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Southern African - Netherlands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SANEC), which would strengthen business and trade relations between Namibia and the Netherlands.
According to Smith, the constant search for opportunities for Namibia, with the focus on the logistics hub project, remains a perpetual effort.
"We are attracting business not only on our corridors for the neighbouring countries, but also to Namibia itself, focusing on sectors such as energy, agriculture, mining and manufacturing," he stated. The Namibia Logistics Hub Project is co-ordinated by the National Planning Commission and Ministry of Works and Transport, with WBCG as the mandated implementing agency.