Cablegate: Namibia: 2010 Business Facilitation Incentive Fund (Bfif)

DE RUEHWD #0064/01 0211645
R 211644Z JAN 10



E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Namibia: 2010 Business Facilitation Incentive Fund (BFIF)

REF: 09 STATE 126674




1. (U) Embassy Windhoek is pleased to submit its 2010 Business
Facilitation Incentive Fund (BFIF) request. Post has identified two
priorities for 2010 BFIF funding:

(1) $6494 - Local Trade Fair Participation

(2) $3500 - Training for Locally Engaged Staff (LES)

Both items will support the third goal in Embassy Windhoek's
Mission Strategic Plan (MSP) which is to promote Namibian economic
growth and prosperity through "increased regional and bilateral
trade . . . [by] showcasing trade opportunities under AGOA, Buy
USA, and USAID's regional trade hub services, and encourage U.S.
and Namibian private sector exchanges." End Summary.


2009 BFIF Activity


2. (U) With BFIF funding in 2009, Post economic and commercial
officer (econoff) and the locally engaged economic and commercial
assistant attended the Regional CS-State Commercial Training
sponsored by FCS Johannesburg February 17-20. Following the
training, Embassy Windhoek signed on to the Post Partnership
Programs (PPP) established under the joint State-Commercial Service
Memorandum of Understanding. Following Post's joining the PPP, we
have successfully delivered on one Gold Key and ensured Namibian
participation in an International Buyer Program (IBP). Post has
been active in promoting business opportunities in Namibia by
sending trade leads to FCS in South Africa and the Corporate
Council for Africa (CCA). Post's trade lead system was highlighted
during the 2009 regional CS-State Commercial Training as a best
practice. Post maintains an excellent working relationship with
FCS in South Africa and has also worked closely with USTDA.


Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair (OATF) Proposal


3. (U) Embassy Windhoek has signed up to participate in the 2010
Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair (OATF), which will take place August 27
to September 4. The OATF is the preeminent business/trade show for
the north of Namibia, the region of the country that is home to
over 50 percent of population. Ongwediva is also very close to
Angola so domestic and foreign companies are increasingly
interested in setting up retail and other operations to service the
Angolan market. The 2008 fair attracted 480 exhibitors including
companies and trade promotion organizations from Botswana, China,
Ghana, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa,
Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

4. (U) The Embassy has sponsored a booth in previous years, but the
booths have focused on the breadth of Mission activities, rather
than primarily on doing business with the United States. For the
2010 OATF, post plans to sponsor a booth focused on the theme
"Doing Business With the U.S.". Post plans to staff and/or fill
the booth with materials from FCS, USTDA, the Southern Africa
Competiveness Trade Hub, EXIM, OPIC, USDA, and other U.S.
organizations, plus information on AGOA as well as links to
prominent U.S. equipment and material supply companies (e.g. Thomas

WINDHOEK 00000064 002 OF 003

Register and Hoover's online).

5. (U) To ensure the widest possible U.S. commercial participation
at the OATF, Post has reached out to other USG agencies to support
our effort. FCS/ South Africa has agreed to send one (and possibly
two) representatives. Jason Nagy from USTDA's regional office in
South Africa has indicated he may also be able to attend. In
addition, the USAID-sponsored Southern Africa Competiveness Trade
Hub has offered to contribute staff and materials.

6. (U) Post is also working to generate private sector interest in
the OATF. On January 28, Ambassador Mathieu will participate in a
three-way Digital Video Conference with FCS South Africa and the
Corporate Council on Africa (CCA). FCS South Africa has invited
members of the South African American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham)
to attend. Namibia does not have an AmCham, given the small
number of American companies present in Namibia. Nevertheless,
given the close economic/commercial ties between South Africa and
Namibia, participation at the OATF by the South African AmCham
makes sense. In addition, some CCA members have expressed interest
in attending the OATF. Post also will prominently display
information on the OATF on the CS Namibia website which is
currently in design.

7. (U) Post requests the following funding to cover part of the
Embassy's participation in OATF:

$ 650 Space rental (9 sq m) in main pavilion

$ 500 Internet Connectivity at the OATF

$3040 Lodging 8 nights x 4 people

$2304 M&IE 8 days x 4 people


$6494 Total cost to be covered by BFIF

--------------------------------------------- ----

Training for Locally Engaged Staff (LES) Proposal

--------------------------------------------- ----

8. (U) As Embassy Windhoek becomes more engaged in commercial
advocacy, the training of our Locally Engaged Staff member (LES) is
critical. Windhoek's LES will provide the continuity and
institutional memory for our advocacy efforts. As noted in
paragraph 2, post's locally engaged economic and commercial
assistant attended the Regional CS-State Commercial Training
sponsored by FCS Johannesburg February 17-20, 2009. Post seeks to
find additional, more focused, training for our economic and
commercial assistant. Post has identified three potential FSI
courses highlighted in paragraphs 9-11 below (in rank order of

9. (U) Course: PE125 - Commercial Tradecraft

Justification: This course prepares Officers and LES to be
responsive and effective in providing assistance to U.S. businesses
seeking advice, information and support in the pursuit of trade and
investment opportunities abroad. Special emphasis is placed on the
challenges and opportunities at embassies and consulates (such as
Embassy Windhoek) where there is no Department of Commerce
presence. Participation in this course will provide not only
focused training for our LES, but it will widen the LES's network
of contacts at both State and the Department of Commerce.

10. (U) Course: PE142 - Resource Economics Seminar

Justification: This seminar provides a comprehensive understanding

WINDHOEK 00000064 003 OF 003

of extractive industries, focusing on natural resources, minerals
and mining. The course features interaction with the U.S.
Geological Survey, private firms, trade associations and
non-governmental organizations with interests in mineral resources.
Mining is Namibia's number one industry. Understanding this
industry in order to better assist American businesses that may
have an interest in investing in and/or selling products/equipment
to the Namibia mining sector is critical.

11. (U) Course: PE127 - Petroleum and Gas Industry

Justification: This course presents an overview of the energy
industry from the industry's perspective. It is designed to
increase energy-reporting officers' knowledge of the petroleum and
gas industry and international issues of concern to U.S. industry
executives. Namibia has a burgeoning hydrocarbons sector. US
companies are already working in exploration and there is a
possibility for expansion.

12 (U) USD $3500 in BFIF funding is requested to cover the
roundtrip airfare to send Embassy Windhoek LES to one of the above
mentioned courses. Lodging and M&IE fees will be covered through
normal training funds.


Post BFIF Contacts


13. (U) Embassy Windhoek's points of contact for this BFIF request
are: Economic and Commercial Officer Frank DeParis,
or Rauna Mutumbulua, +264-61-295-8596,

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