17 Mar 2015 10:30am
GOBABIS, 17 MAR (NAMPA) - Namibia will soon have a policy that obligates the Government to give preference to wares produced in Namibia when sourcing goods to be used in the public service or elsewhere.
Minister of Trade and Industry, Calle Schlettwein said his ministry is busy with amendments to the relevant legal framework that will bring changes to government's procurement policy so as to encourage the use of locally produced goods. He did not specify which policy is currently under revision.
Schlettwein made the remarks in a speech delivered on his behalf by his deputy, Tjekero Tweya here on Thursday, during the inauguration of a toilet paper factory in Gobabis.
Schlettwein noted that Namibian manufacturers would only enjoy preference under the new law if it can be proven that the company's financial and employment benefits remain in the country, and are not destined across the borders.
Our aim is to boost growth of businesses at home in order to do away with the heavy reliance on foreign imports. As such, we want to make sure that what you do benefits other Namibians and remains here for others to reap from too, he said.
The new regulation will be added to already-established policies such as the Infant Industry Protection (IIP) and Namibian Retail Charter.
Schlettwein said despite government's insistence that more Namibians venture into the manufacturing sector, businesspersons often find themselves pitted against larger and more established manufacturers from across the border when competing for procurement tenders.
Such a practice, Schlettwein said, is not conducive to growing the local manufacturing sector as intended by government.
Two Namibians; Lloyd Underhill and Ulrich Hanstein established the toilet paper company, Soft Cloud, two years ago, through a loan to the tune of N. dollars 3 million from the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN). The Ministry of Trade and Industry on Thursday also allocated N.dollars 1.6 million worth of equipment and materials to the factory.