MUNICIPALITY OF WALVIS BAY
YOUR OASIS OF OPPORTUNITIES
The fishing industry is the cornerstone of the city’s economy. With more than 50 years in existence the fishing industry has developed into a leading force in the world’s fish supply market. Locally, the industry creates approximately 8,000 jobs and generates 10% of the country’s GDP. With more than 2 kilometres of landing quays, cold storage, processing and canning facilities the fishing industry continues to play an important roll in the development of Walvis Bay.
High value fish and related products are processed for export purposes to niche markets in Europa, Australia, the United States and Hong Kong. 90% of the hake caught and processed is exported to the Spanish markets. Other fish species caught commercially include pilchards, anchovy, tuna, orange roughy, monk, sole, horse-mackerel and other demersal species.
The 3,500 hectare Walvis Bay salt field is one of the largest solar evaporation facilities in Africa, processing 24 million tonnes of sea water each year to produce more than 700,000 tonnes of high quality salt. The refinery recently installed the first robotic arm in the country which will drastically cut down on production time. Salt is shipped to markets in southern and west Africa. Walvis Bay Salt Refiners is also a commercial producer of high-quality oysters supplied to customers throughout southern Africa. The exploration for oil and gas along the Namibian Coast continues. If deposits were found, it would have a positive impact on Walvis Bay’s economy.
With the need for ship repair and maintenance well equipped engineering firms with a high degree of expertise have emerged to provide a wide range of services to the fishing and other industries. This has also spawned a wide range of other support industries such as shipping insurance, construction, cargo transport and retail services.
The Municipality of Walvis Bay has started to facilitate and promote the development of the informal trade and manufacturing industries. This includes providing training to start-up small and medium businesses (SMEs). The primary objective is to reduce the dependency of the local economy on the fishing sector, and to assist small traders to develop their businesses into fully fledged enterprises with the potential of exporting their products.
The main manufacturing activities take place within the Export Processing Zone. The EPZ companies are involved in the manufacturing of plastic products, automotive parts, fishing accessories, bathroom fittings and diamond cutting and polishing. Not only does the EPZ develop the country’s manufacturing industry but creates much needed employment.
Another emerging sector is tourism. To keep up with one of the fastest growing industries worldwide, Walvis Bay has upgraded its facilities and tourist attractions. The local accommodation and tour institutions now offer a high degree of quality services on par with international standards. This market has also contributed to the creation of more employment and the development of the city.
Walvis Bay has a natural deep-water harbour and offers an efficient and economical option for cargo transshipment between African, European and American trade markets. By using the port of Walvis Bay exporters and importers within the region are guaranteed a saving of at least eight to ten days when shipping to and from these markets. Rated as number one in Africa for efficiency and quality by the Africa Competitiveness Report, the port is capable of handling more than 6 million tonnes of cargo for export and import purposes.