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 Namibia plans seminars to draw Malaysian investors

Johor Baru, Thursday, August 2, 2001(The Star) - The Namibia TradeMinistry hopes to attract more Malaysian businessmen to invest in theAfrican country through two trade and investment seminars slated forOctober and November this year.Jakova Katuamba, commercial counsellor of the Namibia High Commission inMalaysia, said Namibia offered business opportunities to Malaysianinvestors, but many were unware of them.He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad and NamibiaPresident Dr Sam Nujoma were expected to grace the November event in KualaLumpur.Katuamba said about 25 Malaysian-owned firms were operating in thatcountry, particularly in the banking and mining sectors."This number is relatively small. We want to see more companies,especially big Malaysian entities, doing business in our country," he toldStar Business in a telephone interview from Kuala Lumpur yesterday.Katuamba said investors from the US, Britain, France and Germany hadalready made their presence felt in Namibia and that now was the time forAsians to be there, too.He said currently, Malaysia, Singapore, China and Hong Kong investors werethe only ones from Asia, and the Namibian government would like to seemore Asian foreign direct investment.Katuamba said sectors which investors could venture into weretextile-related activities, the hospitality industry, and food-basedprocessing, especially of fish, beef, game, fruits and vegetables.He said Namibia was strong in agriculture, especially in fruitcultivation. The country exports grapes, papayas, apples and oranges tomost European countries.Katuamba said Namibia also wanted to attract oil palm companies fromMalaysia to start plantations in the northern district of the country,which has about 20,000ha of land available.He said Malaysian oil palm companies could use Namibia as a centre topromote palm oil to other African states.Kutuamba said Namibia, with an area of 29,000 sq km composed of 13districts and 1.8 million population, was one of the most stable Africancountries politically and economically.He said foreign investors had a choice of forming joint-venture companieswith their Namibian partners or they could own 100% stake in companies.Katuamba said Namibia could act as an entry point for Malaysianbusinessmen to penetrate other African states like Angola, Botswana, SouthAfrica and Zimbabwe.

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