India discusses work permits, transit visa issues with Namibia

India today held talks with Namibia on two key issues pertaining to mine-related work permits and South African transit visa.

New Delhi: India took up two key issues pertaining to mine-related work permits and South African transit visa in its talks with Namibia which will help forging stronger business ties with the African nation in the mining sector.

The issues were taken up at a meeting between Namibia's Minister for Mines and Energy Obeth Kandjoze and Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar yesterday, an official statement said today.

Kandjoze is in India to attend the Indo Africa Forum Summit 2015, it added.

The statement quoted Tomar as saying that there are several Indian companies that want to invest in Namibia in the area of minerals.

"However, two issues are hindering the process, namely difficulties in obtaining work permits and the requirement of South African transit visa," the statement said.

Besides, Tomar urged Kandjoze to complete ratification formalities to operationalise the agreement on Cooperation in peaceful purposes of nuclear energy.

Kandjoze said the issues raised by Tomar are bottlenecks in increasing investment in Namibia and their government is taking all possible steps to remove these hurdles.

He also explained how Namibia intends to encourage sustainable mining and sought cooperation from India in research and development (R&D) and technology development.

India and Namibia had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2009 for cooperation in the field of geology and mineral resources. A Joint Working Group was also constituted to take things forward.

"Both the Ministers were in agreement that the MOU implementation needs to be expedited and the next meeting of Joint Working Group has to be held at the earliest," the statement said.

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