Namibia has a world-class financial system, modern shopping malls and top hotels and lodges that provide a high standard of living for investors who would want to invest and live in Namibia.
This was the message of President Hage Geingob at the Movement of the Enterprises of France (MEDEF) business event held in Paris yesterday morning.
“Namibia’s institutions are strong. Our judiciary is independent and the rule of law prevails,” Geingob told potential French investors. He said currently Namibia is working hard to continuously strengthen the country’s governance architecture.
“We believe accountability and transparency are important to increase trust levels between all stakeholders in a democratic society and in the world,” he said.
“As potential investors we would like to assure that you can put your trust in Namibia’s institutions and political system,” he added.
He said Namibia has a conducive environment for doing business, while its physical infrastructure is on par with that of the developed world.
“Medical services and recreational facilities are available,” he noted.
On the continent, he said, Namibia sets the pace when it comes to macro-economic architecture.
He cited its well contained debt in relation to GDP, with an internal default rating by Fitch of BBB-; robust economic growth, although there is a slight slowdown in economic activity this year; huge contractual savings in search of local investment opportunities, and a sound banking system that is rated 22nd in the world by the World Economic Forum, as some of the key indicators that attest to the strength of its macro-economic architecture.
Geingob said when it comes to socio-economic architecture, Namibia has made significant strides in 26 years.
He said, for example, the country managed to reduce the poverty rate from 70 percent in 1993 to only 18 percent in 2015.
Geingob said this was achieved through deliberately channelling the bulk of budgetary allocations to education, health and social protection systems. “We are aware that deficits remain in our socio-economic architecture,” he said, adding that these include access to decent shelter and sanitation.
He said this presents an opportunity to investors, and he hoped there would be matchmaking between Namibian and international entrepreneurs on these important matters.
“We strive towards a Namibia where there are no structural poverty traps; where no Namibian should die of hunger; so, we are aggressively promoting agro-processing industries to significantly improve and raise our agricultural production and ensure food security.”
Geingob believes that bilateral cooperation between the two countries will be greatly enhanced by the business communities playing an active role in boosting relations through increased trade, investment and economic activities.
Namibia and France trade in a number of products, including fish, food and beverages, minerals, petroleum products, chemicals, clothing, live animals, pharmaceutical products.
Imports worth €25. 6 million (N$376.3 million) were sourced from France into Namibia in 2015.
Meanwhile, Geingob yesterday left Paris for Havana to attend the memorial service of late Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, the presidential spokesperson Albertus Aochamub said.
Geingob arrived in Paris, France, on Sunday where he held talks with French President Francois Hollande. Geingob also visited a wind farm in Val-de-Gronde where a commercial agreement was signed.
Aochamub said Geingob travelled to Cuba for the memorial service yesterday, after which he would “return to London to continue with the scheduled programme there”.
Geingob has described Castro, who died on Friday aged 90, as having demonstrated unwavering commitment to Namibia’s freedom, adding that he greatly advanced the destruction of apartheid in Namibia. “True to his revolutionary heart, Castro had no interest other than the liberation of the oppressed.”
“May the Cuban people feel consoled by the knowledge that Comandante-en-Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz lived his life in service of the oppressed and for the self-determination of the Americas and Africa.”
Today, Castro’s ashes will begin their journey across Cuba, along the route that commemorates his victory in 1959. His ashes will be interred at the Santa Ifigenia cemetery in Santiago de Cuba on December 4, the Cuban government has announced.
The Santa Ifigenia cemetery is the resting place of 19th-century Cuban independence hero José Martí and numerous other leading figures in the country’s history.
After the memorial service Geingob is scheduled to travel to the United Kingdom to meet with Queen Elizabeth II, and engage in a series of investment events solely focused on Namibia. He is also expected to deliver an address at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatman House, Berkeley Square, to be attended by students, leading academics and the general public.
Chatham House is an independent policy institute whose mission is to analyse and promote the understanding of major international issues and current affairs.
On Thursday, the head of state is expected to address more than 300 investors in the British capital, alongside investor bilateral meetings that he and accompanying ministers will participate in.