Zimbabwe has completed the construction of a Dry Port Facility at Walvis Bay in Namibia in a move expected to boost trade and bilateral relations between the two countries.
But more importantly for trade, it is anticipated that this facility will spearhead the growth of more imports and exports for the Zimbabwean market by the use of Walvis Bay.
The Walvis Bay Corridors also serve as a real alternative to link Zimbabwe to Europe, North America as well as South America, and by Walvis Bay local importers and exporters can save more than 10 days in transit time to markets in Europe and the Americas.
Zimbabwean imports and exports have an option either to use the Transkalahari Corridor or TransCaprivi Corridor as the trade corridor linkage from Europe and the Americas.
The Trans-Kalahari route is also a much faster route for road transportation, as it saves about 5 to 7 days in transit for Botswana imports and exports compared to some of other ports in the region for cargo from European and American markets.
The Walvis Bay Port will be of particular significance to Zimbabwe, especially in view of recent challenges that have affected the country’s other major trade routes.
Industrialist Busisa Moyo tweeted this week:
“Beira is recovering slowly after Cyclone Idai, now SARS (South Africa Revenue Service) on strike will affect Beitbridge and movement of bulk goods and raw materials into Zimbabwe. Lots of headwinds for business and trade in Q1, 2019. Port access options are key for our economy. Namibia Zim port deal? Sofala canal?”
The Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) – a public-private partnership which was established in 2000 as a service and facilitation centre to promote imports and exports via the Port of Walvis Bay for the Southern African Development Community region – has also spoken on the benefits of utilization of the port.
“The core benefits to our customers for using the Walvis Bay Corridors are time savings, cost savings, high safety and security standards, and the reliability of the Walvis Bay Corridor Group systems.
“Another key advantage to using the Walvis Bay Corridors is the strategic geographical location of the Port of Walvis Bay on the west coast of southern Africa which allows for the facilitation of trade not only between the SADC region and Europe, but also increasingly with the Americas and the Far East,” the WBCG has said.
Zimbabwe’s Dry Port is expected to be commissioned in the next few coming weeks, according to Namibian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Balbina Daes Pienaar during her country’s 29th Independence anniversary celebrations held in Harare recently.
“To date, over 25 Memorandums of Understanding and agreements were signed between the two countries of which most are implemented and well on track. Of particular importance is the completion of the Dry Port Facility by the Government of Zimbabwe at the Port of Walvis Bay in Namibia and soon to be commissioned by His Excellency President Mnangagwa.” Insidebusiness