Namibia is exporting jobs and wealth creation: Schlettwein

27 Jul 2013 13:50
WINDHOEK, 27 JUL (NAMPA) - Namibia's resources continue to leave the country in their raw form for value-addition, and create manufacturing and employment opportunities in other countries, the Minister of Trade and Industry said on Friday.
Calle Schlettwein raised the concern during a consultative meeting with representatives from the manufacturing sector in the country.
The meeting was aimed at consulting with manufacturers on how to accelerate growth and reduce income inequality.
Schlettwein said Namibia’s manufacturing capacity and economic growth need to be accelerated to deliver equitable benefits to the whole society and reduce income inequality.
“We are exporting jobs and wealth creation, and forgo significant potential for economic growth,” he indicated.
A related problem is that of transfer pricing as opposed to earnings through supply chain management of production, distribution and consumption, said the minister.
He called on the manufacturers to also interrogate those issues, and build a common understanding of what can be done for them to maximize the benefits from the natural and mineral resources, and what support is needed from Government and its Agencies to develop and expand local value chains as opposed to opening Namibian markets for international multi-national value chains.
“We also want to see continuous dialogue and co-operation in identifying markets for our products and services in the region and globally,” he said, adding that a large market space is crucial for Namibia to develop and expand its industrial and manufacturing base.
“Harmonisation and coherence of capacities between the manufacturing sector and other sectors such as the resource-extractive sector of mining, agriculture, fisheries as well as transport and logistics is of paramount importance, and will ensure the desired levels of economic activity and growth,” said Schlettwein.
Historically, he noted, investments targeting certain strategic sectors, import substitution opportunities, and utilising the Government procurement system have served as important instruments to develop manufacturing sectors across the globe.
Schlettwein then called on participants to interrogate those issues and recommend ways and approaches towards import substitution investments around sectors such as mining and mineral processing, agriculture and agro-processing, fisheries and fish processing.
Emphasis and recommendations can also be made on sourcing of products and services from local companies to government, he stated.