WINDHOEK, 02 SEP – President Hage Geingob has concluded a bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping which focused on infrastructure development, investment and shared prosperity, a statement issued by the Presidency on Sunday said.
At the meeting that took place in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Geingob informed Xi that he was pleased with the progress in the bilateral relationship between the two nations since its elevation to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership on Cooperation in March 2018.
“We are already reaping benefits from this elevated relationship in the form of the Hosea Kutako Airport Upgrading Project. We appreciate the rapid progress of implementation regarding this project, including the five-year grace period offered by the People’s Republic of China,” Geingob was quoted as saying.
At the meeting, the Namibian president also informed his Chinese equivalent that the Bilateral Air Service Agreement was “initialled”.
A bilateral air service agreement is signed between two nations to allow international commercial air transport services between their territories.
Geingob said there is a need to conclude the agreement in light of Namibia’s “enormous potential in the tourism sector”.
Stressing the importance of win-win cooperation and opportunities, Geingob said infrastructure connectivity, investment, market access, value addition and trade are critical for building a partnership based on growth and development.
He then lauded the Swakopmund-based Space Tracking, Telemetry and Command Station as playing a crucial role in China’s space programme.
“Geingob expressed the view that construction of the Ground station within the framework of the telemetry agreement should be accelerated, holding tangible benefits for Namibia,” reads the statement.
On his part as Chairman of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Geingob said Namibia seeks to fast-track infrastructure development and youth empowerment in the region.
Noting progress on peace and security matters in SADC, Geingob briefed Xi on developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar and the Kingdom of Lesotho.
“Geingob called on China to play a constructive role in matters of peace and security,” the presidency further added.
The bilateral talks were concluded with the witnessing of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Namibia and China on “Cooperation within the Framework of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Maritime Silk Road Initiative”.
Geingob also met with several key Chinese business leaders who paid him courtesy visits and he encouraged them to move away from “a contractor approach by focusing on investments in order to create sustainable employment opportunities and economic growth in Namibia”.