Switzerland, SA – Nam’s top trading partners

By Magreth Nunuhe

WINDHOEK – Switzerland was Namibia’s number one export destination for 2016, leading by R13.3 billion, followed by South Africa with R11.4 billion and Botswana in third place with R10 billion.

According to Namibia Statistics Agency, Zambia and the Export Processing Zone each absorbed R4.4 billion (total R8.8 billion) of Namibia’s exports during the period under last year.

Switzerland and South Africa surpassed Botswana, which was Namibia’s leading destination for two consecutive years (2014 and 2015), with exports consisting predominantly of diamonds, while South Africa mainly traded in diamonds, live animals and fish.

Exports to Switzerland mainly consisted of re-exports of copper ore to the value of R8.1 billion (60.8 percent) and copper cathodes to the value of R4.3 billion (32.4 percent).

Re-exports are exports of foreign goods to the rest of the world initially imported by the domestic economy.

In terms of reginal economics, over 39 percent of Namibia’s exports were destined for the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), making it the country’s largest export destination in the last quarter of 2016.

The European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Area (EFTA) occupied the second and third positions registering 25 and 15.2 percent of total exports, respectively.

When it comes to imports, South Africa topped Namibia’s imports with R59.1 billion worth of goods.

Namibia’s imports from Botswana amounted to R6.7 billion, followed by Zambia (R4 billion), China (R2.8 billion) and Norway (R2.5 billion). Combined, these countries accounted for over 74 percent of Namibia’s total imports in 2016.

SACU remained the largest source of domestic imports, accounting for over 70 percent of total imports, while the EFTA ranked second with 11.7 percent and third was the trade bloc, ‘Brazil, Russia, India and China’ (BRIC) with 5.2 percent share of the total import bill.

The last quarter of 2016 recorded a trade deficit of R14.2 billion, compared to R11 billion recorded over the same period in 2015, indicating a growth in trade deficit of 29 percent.

The growth in trade deficit resulted from increase in import expenditure compared to export revenue.

Namibia’s import bill grew to R29.3 billion in the last quarter of 2016 compared to of R25.8 billion recorded in the same quarter of 2015, translating into a 13.6 percent increase.

Exports increased to R15.1 billion compared to R14.8 billion recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2015, resulting in a 2 percent increase.

March 2017
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