Namibia is set to construct a free economic zone for industry and logistics in Walvis Bay, following a preliminary memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by Namibia’s Nara Namib Free Economic Industrial Zone and DP World, a global trade enabler.
Speaking during the occasion, Suhail Al Banna, CEO and Managing Director – the Middle East and Africa at DP World, said that they are pleased to work with Nara Namib in exploring how together they can enable smarter trade in Namibia.
“We believe the country has great potential to expand its role as a hub for the Southern Africa region,” Suhail said.
On the other hand, Andre Olivier of Nara Namib said, the MoU brings them a step closer to fulfilling Namibia’s vast trade and economic development prospects, and they look forward to benefiting from DP World’s global expertise and network in the areas of parks, economic zones, ports, and logistics while creating synergies with our strong local footprint and industry reach.
The two parties are expected to reach a definitive agreement on the contemplated project by the second quarter of next year.
The project intends to help Namibia grow as a center for industrial operations and logistics, creating opportunities and jobs across multiple sectors, including agriculture, fishing, automotive, and mining.
The first phase of the project will comprise of a gross industrialized area of about 50ha, with expansion opportunities of up to 1,500ha. The development of the first phase of the zone is said to have the potential to create about 3,000 jobs and help attract investment to Namibia of approximately US $237m. Expansion to 1,500 hectares is expected to increase the potential investment to around US $1.7bn and at least 20,000 job opportunities.
DP World intends to bring to the project its extensive expertise and track record in establishing and operating some of the world’s leading ports, logistical parks, and free zones integrated with railways and trucking.