Namibia has become the first African country to export beef to China after 14 years of trying to access the Asian market. The first consignment of 21 tonnes of pure beef arrived Shijiazhaung, in the Hebei Province in China on Monday.
The Namibian Ambassador to China, Elia Kaiyamo, while welcoming the import to China, said that the significance of the arrival was more than just adding another high-quality ingredient to Chinese plates.
“It marks the success of the two countries in the realisation of ‘win-win cooperation’ and ‘happiness for all’ featured in the vision of ‘Sino-African community with a shared future’” New Era Newspaper of Namibia quoted him as saying.
He thanked “all those who have been working hard to make this happen, including but not limited to friends from Beijing Central Key Trading, Global Protein Solutions, Hebei Sogreen Food Co Ltd and Meatco of Namibia.”
China is a huge market for meat imports. It imports 6.5 million tonnes of beef, 250 000 tonnes of mutton, 2.3 million tonnes of pork and 1.7 million tonnes of chicken per annum.
It is understood that Namibia and China signed the import agreement in 2016 after the process to obtain access to the Chinese beef market started in 2005.
According to Gondwana Collection Namibia, the South African country exports up to 9,500 tons of beef to the European Union, 1 600 to the Norwegian markets and about 17,000 tons to beef products to South Africa. Having succeeded with China, It has concluded negotiations with USA and Hong Kong while Russia has reportedly shown interest.
Kaiyamo says that apart from world-class beef steaks, Namibia has slot to offer China a vast variety of seafood, quality fruits, minerals as well as breath taking natural and cultural landscapes.