Windhoek – The wait for the much anticipated ‘Invest in Namibia International Investment Conference 2016’ is over, as the event, a brainchild of the Namibian government, kicks off in Windhoek today.
The conference, in which government and the private sector pumped N$15.5 million, is envisioned to stimulate investments in the country’s economy in an effort to achieve set national development goals, government says. It is also a timely intervention as Namibia continues efforts to arrest rampant unemployment and boost economic growth.
Spearheaded by the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, the conference is themed ‘Promoting Investment for Inclusive Growth and Industrialisation’ and will showcase a selected number of investment projects.
While a total of 500 project proposals were received after requests were sent to local authorities, only 20 key projects will be profiled during the conference, according to a statement issued last night.
These projects are primarily in the energy, agriculture, affordable housing, tourism, manufacturing as well as logistics and infrastructure development sectors.
While 800 delegates are expected to attend the conference, projections are that more people could turn up.
Yesterday the Safari Hotel, where the event is taking place, was a hive of activity – as delegates, some from as far as Belarus and Turkey, scrambled for accreditation.
In the main, delegates include visiting trade ministers, business chambers, foreign investors and local companies.
Preliminary records show that delegates are coming from all over the world, with Germany and Portugal slightly dominating the numbers.
Other countries represented include Serbia, China, the UK, Hungary, Spain, Korea, United States and Canada.
“Closer to home, participants will come from South Africa, Angola, Zimbabwe as well as Congo Brazzaville, amongst others,” presidential spokesperson Albertus Aochamub said in the statement.
As part of the promotional efforts to attract more investors, two major events were held in the USA and in South Africa.
First, the curtain raiser event was held on the margins of the 71st United Nations General Assembly in New York on the 22 September 2016.
“This event attracted 220 participants, including 150 potential investors and 43 delegates from the Namibian business community.”
“Of those that attended the New York event, 12 American and three Canadian companies have confirmed their participation. However, the number of total delegates is expected to be higher than that.” Second was when the Namibian High Commission in Pretoria, South Africa, organised the official launch of the conference in at the Emperors Palace in Kempton Park, Johannesburg. “The launch was addressed by President H.E Dr Hage G. Geingob and attended by 380 delegates, of whom 50 included Namibian speakers, High Commission staff and local government officials,” reads the statement.
About 60 South African companies have confirmed their participation at the two-day event that ends in the capital tomorrow. Parallel to the conference, a ‘Made in Namibia Expo’ will be held to showcase local products and services by leading Namibian companies. A total of 38 exhibitors will be showcasing their products and services.
Additionally, Government will also make use of the opportunity to allude its position on key policy matters such as the Namibia Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF), Investment Promotion Act, Public Private Partnership Framework (PPP) and Investment Incentives.