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 role 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, 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 30 million tonnes of sea water each year to produce more than 700,000 tonnes of high quality salt.
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 Export Processing Zone (EPZ) is an innovative approach to offshore investments. More and more international companies are making use of this opportunity to set up their operations in the EPZ. Investors enjoy a tax-free investment environment with various benefits and advantages.
These incentives are of unlimited duration and apply equally to Namibian and foreign firms. Companies are allowed to repatriate their capital and profits, while enjoying freedom from exchange controls and the holding of foreign currency accounts at local banks. Investors taking up residence in Walvis Bay can be sure of a politically stable, virtually crime-free environment, reliable work-force and lower production costs.