The trade ministry has poured cold water on allegations that its officials are stealing project ideas and handing them to their cronies to apply with for registration or business opportunities.
“Allegedly we are giving this to friends and family,” the deputy permanent secretary in the ministry, Bernadette Artivor, said. “There is nothing like this. The ministry is determined to help grow small and medium business,” she reiterated while addressing the business community at the Karasburg Expo.
The Karasburg Expo is an annual event that is being held for its third consecutive year. Around 45 small and medium businesses (SMEs) showcased their products at this year’s event. Expos and festivals have turned into hunting grounds for business ideas. For entrepreneurs and investors interested in business expansion these events have become prime networking platforms.
The trade ministry called on local businesspeople to invest in local business ideas through its offices. “Is it really necessary for investors to come to Namibia to see the potential of our skills and expertise?” Artivor wanted to know. “Some investors are imitating our own products and reselling it to us,” she observed.
“The //Karas Region is endowed with natural resources. The time has come for our local investors to invest in these resources. The ministry asks the business people to work closely to develop our natural resources.”
“Our aim is to strengthen the existing ties between the ministry and the various SMEs in an effort to encourage an open dialogue between government institutions and the private sector.
The ministry also divulged ministerial programmes, such as the Equipment Aid scheme and New Investment Promotion law that will create a conducive environment for business and Investors. The Equipment Aid scheme is not a loan and simply enables companies and/or individuals to acquire needed equipment to improve their business, the deputy PS said.