Intra-SADC Trade Performance Review 2006: Chapter 5: Namibia

Year of publication: 
Mmatlou Kalaba, TIPS
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The Namibian government’s commitment to trade liberalisation as one of the prime stimuli necessary for rapid development of the local economy, particularly given the country’s small size and necessary openness, seems to have had some positive results during the period under review. Namibia’s recent economic performance has been strong and based on prudent policies.

Most of its economic indicators, with the exception of one, for the period under review were within the targeted range; unemployment, though, remained high and affected one third of the economically active population. Mining extraction and agriculture and fisheries remained the primary drivers of Namibian exports.

The country’s principal export destinations were the EU and South Africa. Ores, minerals, copper and refined zinc accounted for half of the value of the country's total exports, followed by processed and preserved fish, equivalent to one fifth of the total value, and live animals with a share of less than one eighth of the total.

In terms of regional economic integration, whilst it is clear that Namibia is closely linked to South Africa, there was some evidence of deeper integration underway with both the SADC and SACU. Angola and Swaziland have recently showed stronger trade relations with Namibia.