Namibia’s business leaders said they might strike a b eef export deal with Finland in an effort to diversify the country’s export mark e ts as the global economic crisis takes its toll on the south west African countr y .
Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) said Thursday that the country h oped to strike a beef export deal with a business delegation from Finland, which is expected in the country on Sunday.
The NCCI said that the Finnish business delegation would be looking at establish ing a direct import deal of Namibian beef into the Nordic markets.
“We expect to see some immediate results from this visit in the short term and t o give but one example, the meat sector,” said NCCI CEO Tarah Shaanika.
Namibian beef is currently exported into the Nordic markets through South Africa , a process which business people say is very costly.
Shaanika said Namibian farmers and the beef sector had also welcomed the idea of short circuiting their exports into the EU countries.
Finnish provincial veterinary office Kirsi Sario is in Namibia and has been tour ing the country’s abattoirs. Namibia, a semi-arid country, has a very vibrant li v estock farming industry.
The beef sector has, however, been jittery over the past months after Namibia an d the rest of southern African countries failed to clinch a preferential deal un d er the economic partnership agreement (EPAs).
Shaanika said that Namibian abattoirs were certified to meet European Union stan dards. The Finnish business delegation would also be looking at investment oppor t unities in the transport sector, mining and tourism.
“This is part of our efforts to increase trade between our two countries. These efforts have been deepening with closer co-operation between NCCI and Federation
Enterprise of Finland since 1990 when the NCCI led a business delegation to that
country,” Shaanika said.