Hage Geingob, the President of Namibia, believes that a nation that is not "self-sufficient" in food production has not yet attained independence and it is for this reason that Iran wants to set up a tractor manufacturing company in Namibia. In 2016, Iran’s trade with African nations such as Kenya increased by 150% and these are some of the reasons why Iran considers channeling resources in Africa. However, Namibia has not established an embassy in Tehran, the capital city of Iran and this could be a set back to the diplomatic ties between the two countries.
ITMCO is known for tractors and combine harvesters’ production, and it exports its products to the Middle East and East Asia. The tractors range from small to medium diesel powered either double or single differential gearboxes. It produces 30,000 vehicles annually.
Vahid Karimi, the ambassador of Iran to Namibia said that the outcome of the delegation will soon be known soon as the manufacturing company had visited Namibia in September 2017 and is yet to give way forward. There are chances that the company could be located in either Walvis Bay or Windhoek and within a year after the launch, Namibia could have its first production of tractors. The assembly plant is set to offer more employment opportunities, especially in the agricultural sector.
Hassan Rouhani, the President of Iran, has plans to visit Africa by the end of the current Iranian year (March 20, 2018) and Karimi noted that he is set to boost diplomatic ties that exist between Iran and all African states. Baleka Mbete, the speaker of South African National Assembly, visited Tehran in September 2017 and recommended that Iran should join Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) association.
A politico-economic delegation was held in Africa in October 2017 where the delegates led by Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's Foreign Minister visited Niger, South Africa, and Uganda. It was noted that both Iran and Namibia experience youth unemployment challenges, therefore, the tractors could not only boost employment but used for multi-purpose activities in agricultural production. Namibia is likely to import asphalt and bitumen for highways from Iran and investors from Iran are also considering the possibility of constructing a pharmaceutical plant in Namibia.
It also emerged that Iran could consider importing beef from Namibia instead of Brazil since the distance between Iran and Namibia is short. The ambassador noted that Namibia hake fish could be imported to Iran. Iran had also agreed to launch tractor production in West Africa during the sixth session of Iran-Ghana Economic Commission held on Nov. 13-16 in Accra.