Uranium rich Namibia turns to Lanka’s apparel, paddy expertise



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Namibia, the world’s fifth-largest producer of uranium, is keen to leverage Sri Lanka’s apparel and rice cultivation successes. "We are now starting to develop our apparel sector and the rice farming sector. We are eager for tech and know-how support from Sri Lanka given the country’s successes in them," said Samuel K. Mbambo, the new High Commissioner of the Republic of Namibia to Colombo as quoted in a press communiqué issued by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.


Mbambo recently met with Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen


Trade between the two countries is not impressive, the ministry revealed. "According to the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka, the value of total trade between the two countries at US $ 0.07Mn in 2006 , and increased to US $ 0.08 Mn. in  2010. The balance of trade has been in favour of Sri Lanka except in 2006 & 2010. The $12 billion economy is projected to grow 4.4% in 2011. Tea and live fish are Sri Lanka’s main export items to Namibia," the press communiqué said.


"We can assist Namibia to gain the essential skills in apparels and paddy cultivation," responded Bathiudeen. "Our paddy cultivation has a historic background with Sri Lanka’s staple food being rice and our ancient farmers were producing special rice variants for use by our former Kings. Our paddy is harvested in two different cycles every year we are self-sufficient in rice with a self-sufficiency rate of 112%. The 2011 paddy production is estimated at 90 Mn bushels. We can help Namibia with regard to pre and post harvesting technologies and also irrigation methods focused on water conservation.


"As for apparels, I am pleased to say that we are the world’s first ethical apparel sourcing destination. In 2011 December alone, our apparel exports in all forms stood at $ 369.4 million with an annual total export value for the same year at $ 4,039 million. Our apparels now supply to top international labels such as top labels as Marks & Spencer, Victoria s Secret, House of Frazer, Diesel, H&M and SUZI Chin. We believe that Namibia can also leverage our apparel know-how and we are ready to assist in this regard too," the minister adding, "We are also keen to tap Namibia’s mining know-how. I am pleased to observe Namibia encouraging its rare metal exports in raw form."


"The Namibian economy is structured mainly on mining which is about 25% of our revenues. The industries and farming sectors need to be upgraded and expanded. We are looking for international expertise in apparels and rice farming to diversify these sectors. We believe Sri Lanka can help us in this," Mbambo said. "We are encouraged by Sri Lanka’s economic and political stability which encourages us to forge new trade relations," he said, according to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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