The Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Immanual Ngatjizeko, has challenged all Namibians to consume locally produced products and services in order to support and grow the manufacturing sector.
During the Namibian Manufacturing Association’s annual awards ceremony, held at the Safari Hotel on Thursday night, Ngatjizeko said “this will translate to industrialisation and value addition of local raw materials and a prosperous economy as envisaged in our National Vision 2030 document.”
In a speech read on his behalf by his Deputy Permanent Secretary, Dr Michael Humavindu, the trade minister noted that to achieve the vision of industrialisation the country must “rather significantly” improve its delivery rates in terms of policy implementation.
“In order to effectively address the specific challenge with respect to our supply-side weaknesses, we need increased private sector investment flows, both foreign and domestic, to boost our capacity to produce more efficiently and competitively both our own consumption and export. Such investments must be accompanied by the introduction and transfer of appropriate production technologies and technical know-how,” said Ngatjizeko.
Speaking to a packed house before the announcement of the annual manufacturers awards winners, Ngatjizeko pointed out that the revised Foreign Investment Act, also known as the Namibian Investment Promotion Act, has provisions which consider the welfare of locals by placing great emphasis on capacity development and transfer of skills, with regard to investors willing to put their money into Namibia. He continued that his ministry, in recognition of sustainable economic sectors, business activities and national development objectives, has by regulation reserved certain categories of economic sectors for domestic or local investors and by so doing has ensured that local businesses become part of the mainstream economy.
Ngatjizeko further noted that with the launch of the Namibian Retail Sector Charter, government aims to transform the retail sector from one that relies predominantly on foreign imports to one that gives preference to local manufacturers by promoting sourcing of locally produced products by retailers.
“Government also aims to support local businesses in securing retail space at home so as to increase the visibility of their products through the promotion, marketing and distribution of such products. Local sourcing is concerned with the taking of measures that are designed to promote the sourcing of local products and services in order to stimulate the growth of the local economy,” said Ngatjizeko.
This originally appeared in New Era Weekend.