Trade Minister promises SMEs Government support

15 Feb 2014 18:10pm
OSHAKATI, 15 FEB (NAMPA) – The Minister of Trade and Industry, Calle Schlettwein says Government will continue to implement practical policies aimed at encouraging investment, industrialisation and economic growth.
Schlettwein said this at Oshakati whilst addressing a breakfast meeting hosted by the Oshakati Town Council on Friday.
He told those in attendance that Government will also continue to put measures in place to support local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) so that they can become more profitable and effectively participate in the country’s mainstream economy.
“In this context, mechanisms have been put in place to ensure that local businesses, especially SMEs, access tenders for the provision of services and implementation of Government-funded development projects,” Schlettwein said.
He noted that public tenders for the provision of services and implementation of Government-funded development projects are accessible through the SME Bank and the Development of Namibia.
He reminded the business people that Namibia is still a de facto colonial economy which consumes what it does not produce and produces what it does not consume.
The minister referred to finished goods and intermediaries as what Namibia consumes from outside and raw materials such as minerals, fish and agricultural products as what the country produces, but does not consume.
“Without economic development, without food security, without value addition and benefaction of our raw materials, without full employment, without wealth creation and more equalised wealth distribution, Vision 2030 will remain illusive and meaningless,” the Trade and Industry Minister noted.
He went on to say Namibia has no choice but to become industrialised and to continue devising strategies to defend and sustain local and upcoming manufacturers to grow at home.
Speaking at the same meeting, chairperson of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI)’s northern branch, Tomas Iindji took cognisance of Government’s efforts to develop an Industrial Policy.
“The Industrial Policy underpins in particular the pivotal role of SMEs with regards to job creation and indigenous growth,” Iindji said.
Schlettwein also paid a familiarisation visit to the Ongwediva Fresh Produce Hub and the Ondangwa Tannery on Friday afternoon.