High Commissioner’s speech at HMS Argyll reception

HE Mrs Marianne Young spoke at the cocktail function on board the navy frigate HMS Argyll, which called on the Walvis Bay port in May.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Marianne Young

Minister of Defence – Hon Nahas Angula Namibian Chief of Defence Forces - Lt Gen Epaphras Denga-Ndaitwah Commander of the Namibian Navy- Rear Admiral Peter Vilho Captain of the Port- Captain Lukas Vipanda Kufuna Governor of Erongo Region – Hon Cleophas Mutjavikua Mayor of this beautiful town - Cllr Uilika Nambahu All members of the Diplomatic Corps All Captains of Industries Members of the Media Ladies and Gentlemen

Good evening. It is a pleasure to be here with all of you tonight in this beautiful setting.

Please allow me to thank the government of the Republic of Namibia and the town of Walvis Bay for allowing the visit of our Naval Frigate to your town. I also want to thank the Ministry of Defence, the Namibian Navy and the Namibian Port Authorities for their hard work in hosting the vessel. Finally, I want to thank Commander Tim Nield, the Commanding Officer of the vessel, and the crew of the Frigate Royal Navy F231 for hosting this wonderful reception.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The theme of this evening is prosperity, which is one of the UK’s strategic priority areas, along with security and consular. It is no surprise that you have witnessed the banners of a number of members our British Business Group in Namibia on your arrival this evening. Their presence helps showcase British capabilities and excellence across a range of industries in Namibia. . British companies in Namibia operate across a range of sectors, including mining, oil and gas exploration, marine engineering, tourism and financial services, among others. Of particular note are BP, which has invested US$167m in Namibian offshore oil exploration; Weatherley, which is re-opening Tschudi copper mine; Tullow which is involved in the development of Namibia’s offshore Kudu gas deposits, and Rolls Royce Marine’s new marine service centre in Walvis Bay, to name one on your doorstep.

It is worth noting that UK-Namibian bilateral trade in goods stood at £349.8m (N$4.7bn) in 2012 with UK imports at £273.2m (N$3.7bn) and exports at £76.6m (N$1.1bn). Namibia’s imports from the UK are mostly vehicles and machinery while exports include minerals, beef, fruit and beer!

We share the Namibian government’s goal of wanting to boost our already healthy trade and investment links still further and my team continues to look at more ways to support this every day.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

During last year alone, my office spent N$1.4m - approximately £104 611.00 on a range of Prosperity Projects, with a focus on helping to improve the trade and investment environment. We also continue to provide capacity building support to the Namibian Police and Defence Forces and maintain active and close relations with both arms of the Namibian security services.

These relationships are important and facilitate closer cooperation and understanding. The UK and Namibia have much in common, including shared democratic values and a vibrant, bilateral relationship. This week’s ship’s visit is a sign of that and another chapter in our strong record of partnership to achieve a common goal of improved security in this region and throughout the world. I look forward to continuing such activities that strengthen the bond between the UK, Namibia, and other countries in the region. I wish you successful networking here and beyond.

I thank you.

Published 6 May 2013