19 Feb 2015 09:50am
WINDHOEK, 19 FEB (NAMPA) Increasing the competitiveness and capacity of Namibian firms through improved variety and quality of local products, and enhanced productivity and efficiency are amongst the Trade Ministry's top priorities for this year.
Trade and Industry Minister Calle Schlettwein announced these plans during discussions on Namibia's Industrial Policy Implementation Strategy - also known as the Growth at Home intervention - in the National Assembly (NA) here on Tuesday.
He said given the size of Namibias domestic market, strengthening existing and launching new relationships with trade partners and investors are of paramount importance.
The Growth at Home interventions are also planned at promoting market access at home and abroad to stimulate the development of local industries, and to create conditions which will boost Namibian exports on the international market.
As part of these objectives, certain industries with high growth and employment-creation potential at early stages of development may be supported through infant industry protection measures on a temporary and performance-based case by case basis, he explained.
This intervention is also aimed at supporting value- addition and economic diversification through needs-oriented and comprehensive approaches to industrialise the development and structural transformation of the Namibian economy towards more productive economic activities.
There are interventions aimed at promoting favourable investments and the business climate.
The reforms cover industrial infrastructure, the review of the Small to Medium Enterprises (SME) policy, legislative amendments to investment and credit agreements, and the redesign of registration processes for businesses and intellectual property rights, as well as the establishment of a regular Public-Private dialogue platform, he noted.
These interventions are derived from intensive sector consultations with stakeholders, and serve a holistic framework for Namibias industrial policy.
Schlettwein emphasised that by ensuring the availability and close match to skills, the streamlining of processes for the importation of skilled labour in areas experiencing deficits, the provision of land, sites and premises for businesses and support to firms, particularly in accessing finance and credit, also form an important part of improving the business climate in the country.