Oasis of Opportunity
Set between the golden dunes of the Namib Desert and the rich currents of the Atlantic ocean Walvis Bay is geographically and internationally well situated for trade. This vibrant port city is about 700 nautical miles from Cape Town, South Africa and 900 nautical miles from Luanda, Angola. It is well protected by the Pelican Peninsular with a desert climate and has great potential for expansion and growth. Although its economy revolves around its internationally renowned fishing industry, other industries are emerging as strong income generating sectors. These include its adventure tourism industry, engineering, cargo handling and property development. Walvis Bay enjoys a near-perfect climate thanks to the cold Benguella Current, which creates temperate conditions all year round and an obvious attractive choice for entrepreneurs, residents and tourists alike.
Walvis Bay is well linked to Namibia’s rail and road network, with international connections in telecommunications, corridors, air traffic and shipping. The city is linked with the rest of Africa via the Trans-Kalahari and Trans-Caprivi Highways. These two highways play an important role in the Walvis Bay Corridor; a concept currently promoted and marketed by the Walvis Bay Corridor Group to attract more transport business through the port of Walvis Bay. Namibia has a well established rail network linking it to South Africa and terminating at natural cross border connection points.
Boasting one of the busiest ports in Africa, Walvis Bay is the gateway for trade, imports and exports between the Americas, Europe and landlocked countries in Africa. The fishing industry is the cornerstone of the city’s economy. With more than 2km of landing quays, cold storage, processing and canning facilities the fishing industry continues to play an important role in the development of Walvis Bay. High value fish and related products are processed for export purposes to niche markets in Europe, Australia, the United States and Hong Kong. A significant part of the business community is linked to the import/export activities of the Port; including professional agencies, stevedores, freight forwarders and numerous port users. The port provides a direct link with the Far East, South and North America, Europe and the Southern/Western African Coast. The ship repair industry has grown tremendously over the recent years, with the Synchrolift and additional floating dock facilities providing world class services. Exporters and importers are guaranteed a saving of at least eight to ten days when shipping to and from the European and American markets. The port offers extensive services with a range of terminal facilities for containers, bulk and break bulk including frozen and dry cargo.
Walvis Bay has two well-equipped hospitals and three clinics, as well as medical support professionals in the private sector. Organised commerce is supported by an active local chamber of commerce and a Port User’s Association. Walvis Bay’s educational institutions are of very high standard. Primary schools, secondary schools, a seaman’s training college, local branches of a number of tertiary institutions, three libraries and a museum provide adequate development of human resources. The country boasts one of the most advanced telecommunication infrastructures in Africa, including an international exchange, broadband data and telephony facilites. Mobile phones function in most parts of Namibia including Walvis Bay. The IT/telecommunications industry meets global standards and links Namibia to international business and developed communities. Two cellular communication service providers have various antennas throughout Walvis Bay to ensure sound international reception.
Retail businesses and shops flourish in the city where first world experiences can be enjoyed in the diversified business sector. Varied engineering, industrial and other businesses are found including diamond cutting and regional importers. A strong construction industry supports the building and development activities in and around the city. The local Namibian Dollar currency is on par with the South African Rand. Banking institutions provide comprehensive domestic and international banking services, and ensure fast and efficient transfer of funds to and from any centre in the world. Walvis Bay’s remarkable progress has been the result of careful and responsible planning by the local authority and the business community, which includes the application of international best practices of protecting natural resources and upholding social responsibility.