Economic and Trade relations
Namibia records trade surplus with France, its fourteenth global customer. Namibia imports from France mainly industrial and agricultural machinery and equipment, and household appliances, as well as the French malt for breweries. Namibia is exporting to France uranium, agricultural and food products, including fishery products.
Trekkopie Uranium Mining of Areva is the biggest French investment in Namibia. The mining is mothballed pending the improvement of uranium international market. As a direct result of this investment in 2010, Areva built the first desalination plant in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a substantial proportion of production to cater for the Erongo region, and has become a sustainable water resource in an arid area where some aquifers are overexploited. The Namibian Government is currently negotiating to buy the Desalination Plant, which is strategic for water supply of the region and its mining, and surrounding areas.
French companies have invested particularly in areas identified by the Government as priority and strategic to the country’s development. Located in Namibia or through their active branches in South Africa, French companies are working in the areas of water distribution and treatment, transport, renewable energy, tourism, oil and gas industry, construction and agribusiness. Looking at Namibia as a regional gateway, more and more French companies are coming to prospect, and several significant industrial projects are about to take off which will assist Namibia to develop an industrial activity that creates added value and exports, as well as new skills and expertise.
Contributing to develop the service industry and to promote Namibia in France, more and more French tourists are coming to visitthe "Land of the Brave". They went from less than 10,000 in 2005 to nearly 20,000 in 2014. As the ninth country of origin of tourists coming to Namibia, France has showed in 2014 the biggest increase (+23%).
Economic affairs are monitored by the Regional Economic Service for Southern Africa based at the Embassy of France in Pretoria, South Africa.
The main objectives of the Regional Economic Service are:
. To monitor the trade, economic and financial relations between France and the countries in the region: Namibia, but also South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe,
. To analyse the macroeconomic, financial and business (regulations, business environment) situation of the countries in the region, and key sectors of the economy and local market access for French companies,
. To strengthen bilateral economic, commercial and financial relations,
. To facilitate ties between the business community through the promotion of bilateral trade, investment and major projects.
Launched in April 2014 at the initiative of the Embassy, the French Business Club (FBC) meets at least twice a year with politicians and businessmen. In 2015 and 2016, the guests of honour were the Minister of Trade, Industrialization and SMEs, Immanuel Ngatjizeko, and the Chairperson of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Namibia (CCIN), Sven Thieme, and its CEO, Tarah Shaanika.
The aim of the FBC is to provide opportunities for discussion, sharing experiences and information on the economic and investment matters in Namibia, and to actively get involved in Franco-Namibian economics. It aims to promote the interests of French companies while facilitating an enabling environment for bilateral trade relations.
Place of exchange for all French companies operating in Namibia or planning future operations in the country, the FBC is intended to be a meeting point between investors, an intermediate for those (officials, business, media...) who are interested in the French business environment. To strengthen the synergies between the companies and public operators, the Agence française de développement and the Regional Economic Service are attending these meetings. In the long term, FBC is expected to become a bilateral Chamber of Commerce, given the current more than thirty active memberships.
Members of the French Business Club in Namibia :
AFRICAN EAGLE, AQUA SERVICES (VEOLIA), AREVA, BUREAU VERITAS, CMA-CGM and DELMAS, COLAS, ERANGOL Namibia, GROUP GENOYER, INNOSUN, LONDININGI, MADIZA TOURS, MAZARS / CRVW (Chartered Accountants & Auditors), NAIBER NAMIBIA, NAMSCO, PERNOD RICARD NAMIBIA, SCHNEIDER Electric, SDV NAMIBIA (BOLORE), TOTAL, TRISTONE.