US trade mission sparks interest

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THE annual trade mission to be hosted by the Ministry of Industrialization and Commerce and the Namibian Embassy in Washington is generating a lot of interest in Namibia as well as the United States.

The conference is to take place in Windhoek from Wednesday to Friday.

Although the number of delegates from the United States could not be established, the honorary consul of Namibia in Texas, Robert Braubach, lawyer and legal adviser, confirmed his participation.

“I will be participating in the trade mission organized by Namibian Ambassador Williams and would like to introduce the other two delegates from San Antonio,” he said in a statement sent from the United States.

According to Braubach, representatives from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center and Alamo Colleges are also traveling from Texas as part of the mission.

“Both entities have agreements with Namibia,” he said.

“San Antonio has a sister city agreement with Windhoek, and a number of other agreements that serve as a roadmap for a long-term relationship,” he said.

Former Windhoek Mayor Muesee Kazapua signed an agreement with San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor in October 2016 to exchange knowledge and ideas on water management, energy policies and housing .

Cooperation options and economic opportunities were discussed between the parties.

The partnership is the result of a long negotiation process, which began with the first proposal to establish formal relations in January 2011.

Braubach said hunting and conservation are important to Texas and Namibia.

Environment, Forestry and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta has defended trophy hunting in Namibia against criticism from countries like Kenya, which have banned the activity.

“In Namibia, conservation hunting is highly regulated and employs thousands of people. It brings in more than half a billion Namibian dollars a year,” Shifeta said when discussing the issue with Kenya’s former cabinet secretary for the environment, Judi Wakhungu, in 2019, according to the British publication. Independent.

Prior to the peak of Covid-19, trophy hunting in Namibia constituted at least 14% of the total tourism sector and was an important component of the country’s economy.

“Some 24% of income earned in the trophy hunting industry benefited poor segments of society in the form of salaries and rentals/royalties. About 21% of the revenue generated is captured by the government through royalties and taxes,” says an analysis by Michael Humavindu and Jonathan Barnes.

Braubach said Texas energy companies are looking for new energy opportunities due to rising oil and gas prices.

He said that San Antonio has the San Antonio Spurs basketball team, and they are interested in promoting tennis to junior players in Namibia.

Last week, the chief executive of the Hotel Association of Namibia, Gitta Paetzold, welcomed the potential visit of the US delegation and said it would be good for the tourism sector.

“We are delighted to be on the invitation list. Other than ties to the hunting fraternity in the United States, the tourism fraternity in Namibia has not penetrated the American travel market much. We hope to reach out to some of the people in the delegation to promote Namibia,” she said.

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