Namibian domestic market dominated by imported goods

29 Jul 2013 11:50
WINDHOEK, 29 JUL (NAMPA) - The Minister of Trade and Industry, Calle Schlettwein has expressed concern about the fact that the domestic market is dominated by imported goods and that local producers find it difficult to access the domestic market place.
The critical importance of retail and distribution in the industrialisation process has been emphasised by producers, Schlettwein said during a one-day stakeholder consultative meeting with members of the local retail sector here on Monday.
He noted that Namibian retail shelves are full of imported products and local manufacturers are often denied access through established procurement practices. On the other hand, securing supplies for the domestic market is made difficult as some manufacturers ignore the local market at the expense of export markets.
“I am thus very keen to understand what stands in the way of local value addition for the domestic market, and what needs to be done to improve the situation,” he indicated.
Schlettwein added that consumer interests are best served by importing low cost products from elsewhere in the world and selling those here, adding that his ministry is aware of the trade-off between consumer interest and industrialisation which is underpinned by the 2012 Namibian Industrial Policy.
“We produce what we do not consume and we export raw material which we do not add value to, thus exporting jobs and wealth at the same time,” he added.
Schlettwein said the Namibian economy’s growth needs to be accelerated to deliver equitable benefits to the whole of society, especially job opportunities and the reduction of income inequality.
The minister noted the importance of manufacturing to the country's development and the growth of the economy through the designation of this sector as one of the fourth priority sectors in the fourth National Development Plan (NDP4). The other priority sectors are logistics, tourism and agriculture.