By Anna Ingwafa
Expos are great for business, local as well as national and international. They help increase sales, reduce marketing costs and help build a customer base for businesses.
All this is achieved by bringing business representatives face to face with prospective buyers in a unique environment that allows introduction of oneself, establishing contacts, working on partnerships and gaining information of the area. So said the Minister of Trade and Industry, Hage Geingob, when he officially inaugurated the Eenhana Trade and Business Expo at Eenhana on Saturday.
Geingob congratulated the mayor, the preparatory committee and Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) for promoting such interaction in the hope of bringing benefits to Eenhana and the region.
He said Eenhana had almost no economic importance during the period of South African occupation and the communication link with the rest of the country was weak.
However, after independence the Government built the road network and because of the closeness of Eenhana to the border, the town has become important for trade and commerce.
To add to Eenhana Town Council’s vision and mission of thriving business and commerce, Geingob stated that the Ministry of Trade and Industry is ready to help businesses establish themselves in Eenhana.
“Of course, we are having fairly extensive and generous incentives for businesses and manufacturing enterprises.
Indeed, we would be favourably inclined to investors in some specific areas that require local content to be added locally. Such activities include mining, finishing semi-precious stones, jewellery making, agriculture, beekeeping and manufactu-ring. From our perspective, we wouldn’t want investors to come into the retail sector that undermines local retailers,” said the former Premier.
Geingob said the Government offers incentives for new investors such as the most attractive fiscal incentive in Africa via its Export Processing Zone (EPZ) regime.
That provides a tax haven for manufacturers, importers and exporters as well as a wide range of concessions and benefits.
Those businesses involved in warehousing and packaging can also apply for EPZ status, alongside companies involved in fish and meat processing.
Benefits that apply indefinitely to these companies include no corporate tax, no import duties on imported capital equipment or raw material and no value added tax, stamp or transfer duty and permission to hold foreign currency accounts in local banks.
Other incentives granted by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, according to Geingob, are assistance with feasibility studies and business plans, and an export marketing assistance programme of 50 percent of direct cost of approved export promotion activities. The ministry helps pay for the accommodation and transport cost/airfare to entrepreneurs going to exhibitions and trade fairs.
There are also some incentives that are provided by the Ministry of Finance such as special incentives for manufacturers and exporters.
Geingob called on business people and interested parties to contact his office for further details.