Infant industry protection essential – minister

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From left, the Governor of the //Karas Region, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, Lucia Basson, the Special Adviser to the Governor of the //Karas Region, Gabriel Freyer Deputy Mayor of Keetmanshoop, Hilma Nicanor, the Deputy Minister of Veterans’ Affairs and the Minister of Trade and Industry, Calle Schlettwein, at the inauguration ceremony of the Keetmanshoop Community Market last Friday.

By Hoandi !Gaeb

KEETMANSHOOP –  The Minister of Trade and Industry, Calle Schlettwein, says over the past two years government has taken policy decisions to develop and safeguard Namibia’s interest in the cement, poultry and dairy industries.

These interventions, he said, should not be seen as barriers to trade, but rather as contingent measures enacted to protect some local producers.

“Infant industry protection is a significant tool for policy-making in the world, in both a historical and current context. With the exception of Hong Kong, no other country has industrialised without resorting to some form of infant industry protection. Both early industrialised and the newly  industrialised countries applied the same principles,” the minister said.

He was speaking last Friday at the official inauguration of the Keetmanshoop Community Market and the official handing over of equipment to small and medium enterprises to operate at the town.

He said so far the Ministry of Trade and Industry assisted close to 700 entrepreneurs with equipment to the value of about N$60 million to carry out their business in the small and medium-term sector.

The Keetmanshoop Municipality donated the strategically located 1400square metre piece of land to the trade ministry which spent more than N$26 million to develop the project infrastructure, services and buildings as well as for the procurement of the restaurant equipment. The complex has been named !Homs Ai.

The restaurant, which is run by the well-known farmer and businessman, Ghenno Himarwa, serves as the anchor tenant.

Schlettwein said Namibia is desirous to be a prosperous and industrialised nation developed by her human resources, enjoying peace, harmony and political stability. 

Namibia is presently developing a significantly more equitable distribution of social well-being, through the utilization of natural resources in a mixed economy.

“It is against this background that we will do whatever is necessary to support the private sector and allow it to flourish within the context of an equitable distribution of income, wealth and corporate social responsibility,” said Schlettwein.

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