The Minister of Trade and Industry, Calle Schlettwein is currently on a tour to certain pars of the country handing over equipment to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
On Wednesday, the minister handed over equipment to SMEs in Otjiwarongo, while he proceeded to Omuthiya in the Oshikoto Region where he handed similar equipment today.
Tomorrow he will be at Eenhana in the Ohangwena Region for the same purpose.
He says the aim of the ministry is to strengthen the existing ties between MTI and the various SMEs in an effort to encourage an open dialogue between government institutions and the private sector to support my Ministry’s “Growth at Home” strategy.
“In all seriousness, SMEs play a crucial role in the economy of any country, and Namibia is no exception in this regard, the Government recognizes the vital role that this small business sector can play in the country’s socio-economic development,” he said at the handing over in Otjiwarongo.
In 1997, the Government through the Ministry of Trade and Industry launched the Policy and Programme on Small Business Development outlining specific pro-active policy interventions and programmes aimed at addressing identified key constraints to the effective success, growth and development of micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSME) in the country.
According to the minister, one of the identified constraints is low productivity due to lack of access to appropriate production machinery, technology and inputs.
“It is my pleasure to continue with the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s Equipment Aid Scheme (EAS) aimed at assisting MSME, to procure productive machinery and equipment,” he added.
He further encouraged existing and emerging indigenous small entrepreneurs especially the youth and women to take advantage of this support to improve their businesses and contribute to poverty reduction and national socio-economic development.
“Our priority at this point in time is to diversify local value addition, stimulating confidence in Namibian products and services and increased competitive standards,” he concluded.