Marianne Young

Marianne Young

High Commissioner, Windhoek

Part of UK in Namibia

23rd February 2012 Windhoek, Namibia

Doubling of bilateral trade with Namibia in 2011

Amidst all the global financial doom and gloom, it was really heartening to receive the UK’s latest bilateral trade in goods figures for Namibia this week and to discover that both imports and exports had doubled in 2011.

Imports of Namibian goods to the UK jumped up 108% in 2011 to hit £446m (up from £214m in 2010) and exports of UK goods to Namibia jumped 101% to £37m (up from £19m in 2010). This is a tremendous result given the economic climate.

I am still waiting for the full break down of figures – but previous figures have shown that Namibia exports diamonds, copper, meat, fruit, vegetables and charcoal to the UK – and the UK mainly exports vehicles and machinery to Namibia.

Economic recovery remains the UK government’s main priority, and boosting trade and investment is key to this. Heads of mission have been instructed that we are no longer mere Ambassadors but now Commercial Ambassadors, so such impressive growth figures are a massive boon when reporting on local trade results.

During his visit to Windhoek in November, the UK Minister for Africa Henry Bellingham shared his aspiration locally to double trade and investment with Namibia in the next couple of years with key officials and the local business community. Such statements are always a challenge for Ambassadors to help deliver on, particularly in times of economic woe, so these latest figures are really welcome news to support that aim.

Minister Belligham addresses the British Business Group during his visit to Namibia in November 2011

It was a great bit of news to share with the British Business Group  during our latest gathering on Thursday night. I was joined by representatives from Tullow Oil, Rolls Royce Marine,  Weatherly Mining, Senior Free Expression Associates and Ultimate Safaris, who all shared business updates and exchanged advice on doing business in Namibia, and expanding trade and investment prospects. I asked for advice on our updated Commercial Information for British Companies in Namibia info sheet  and updated them all on plans to issue a British High Commission-funded ‘Investment Guide for Namibia’ to provide to British companies interested in investing here, which is currently being written by a Windhoek-based economist.

The group discussed our objectives for 2012, including to: support honest and frank discussions on local business matters; exchange information to facilitate issues; gain better understanding of the Namibian economic environment; promote UK companies through facilitation of contacts; access specialised skills for British companies; and share information through brainstorming. The group determined to continue meeting each quarter and to alternate meetings between hosting guest speakers over meals with less formal in-house discussions. I suggested rotating the hosting of meetings around members but was assured that everyone would rather come to the Residence (must be the hospitality on offer).

So if you are a British firm doing business in Namibia and contributing to the UK economy please get in touch. We currently have representatives from the mining, oil and gas, marine services, economic advisory, infrastructure development and tourism industry sectors. Other existing BBG Namibia members, who were not able to attend this week’s gathering, include: Rio Tinto/Rossing, De Beers/Namdeb, Infotour Africa, Namibian Economics, Serica Oil and Gas, Capitas Symonds, Global/Jupiter Petroleum and Chariot Oil & Gas.

I look forward to seeing more of you at the next British Business Group meeting where we hope to have a ministerial guest of honour to address members and exchange frank views on Namibia’s future economic policy direction. Do get in touch or keep watching this space if interested.

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About Marianne Young

Marianne Young is the current British High Commissioner to the Republic of Namibia. She arrived in Windhoek in June 2011 and presented her credentials to the President of the Republic of…

Marianne Young is the current British High Commissioner to the
Republic of Namibia. She arrived in Windhoek in June 2011 and presented
her credentials to the President of the Republic of Namibia on 3rd
Mrs Young joined the FCO in 2001 following a career in international
journalism, including time spent running an Asian maritime press office
in Singapore and a traineeship on the UK’s Times newspaper.
Her first role in the FCO was as a Press Officer in News Department,
after which she went on to be Head of the Great Lakes Section in Africa
Directorate and then Head of the East Africa & Horn Section.
In 2005, she became the first Head of Communications for the Engaging with the Islamic World Group.
She moved to the British High Commission in Pretoria in February 2007
and served as the Head of the External Political Section and Deputy
High Commissioner to the Kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland.
Mrs Young moved across to the British High Commission in Windhoek in
June 2011, and presented her credentials to the President of the
Republic of Namibia on 3rd August 2011.
On her appointment as British High Commissioner to the Republic of Namibia, Mrs Young said:
“I am honoured and delighted to be appointed Her Majesty’s High
Commissioner to Namibia. I look forward to working to strengthen the
many commercial, political and cultural ties between our two countries,
and to help the many British nationals who holiday there. My family and I
are particularly thrilled to be remaining in southern Africa – and to
have the opportunity to explore this beautiful country further and
discover more about its people and culture.”
Curriculum vitae

Full name:
Marianne Young

Married to:
Barry Young

Two daughters and one son

June 2011
Windhoek, British High Commissioner

2007 – 2011
Pretoria, Head of External Political Section and DHC for the Kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland

2005 – 2006
FCO, Head of Communications, Engaging with the Islamic World Group

2004 – 2005
FCO, Head of East Africa & Horn Section, Africa Directorate

3/2003 – 8/2003
FCO, Head of Great Lakes Section, Africa Directorate

2002 – 2003
FCO, Press Officer, Press Office

2001 – 2002
FCO, Departmental Report Editor, Press Office

Joined FCO

Senior Correspondent, Fairplay Group, UK

Staff Editor and then Asia Editor, Fairplay Group Singapore

Graduate Trainee at The Times newspaper, UK

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