Namibian economy projected to grow despite global slowdown

25 Feb 2016 19:00pm
WINDHOEK, 25 FEB (NAMPA) – The Namibian economy is expected to grow by 4,3 per cent in 2016 and 5,9 per cent in 2017, despite the global economic slowdown and less demand for goods and services.
Tabling Namibia’s National Budget for 2016/17 in the National Assembly (NA) on Thursday, Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein said this growth will average around 4,9 per cent over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, in spite of headwinds from the subdued regional economic and financial environment, weak commodity prices and a subdued trade environment.
“These projected growth rates are above global averages and consistent with the historical performance of our economy. It is a growth outlook that outstrips the projected Sub-Saharan Africa average growth level of 4,1 per cent over the medium term.”
Schlettwein said the domestic economic growth for 2015 is estimated at 4,5 per cent, reflecting a deceleration from the growth rate of 6,4 per cent in 2014.
This is lower than the 5,7 per cent growth rate anticipated in the previous budget as well as the 5,1 per cent that was envisaged for the Mid-Year Budget Review last year.
Government sourced roughly N.dollars 5 billion from the Mid-Year Budget Review, which was redirected to areas of greater need.
This included land servicing, economic inequality, poverty eradication and agricultural projects such as green schemes aimed at addressing food security and hunger.
“The Sub-Saharan African region has also taken a knock from the generalised slowdown in emerging market economies.”
Furthermore, Schlettwein added that the depreciating South African economy holds negative implications for Namibia through trade and financial linkages, but the Namibian Government will continue linking the Namibian dollar to the South African Rand.
Schlettwein said high investments, especially in the minerals and retail sectors normalised as recent investments reached completion stage.
Earlier on Thursday, Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Mines of Namibia Veston Malango told Nampa in an interview, the mining sector in Namibia is unique as it continues to grow despite challenging economic times and uncertainty in southern Africa.
An estimated 70 000 jobs have been lost due to the economic downturn, affecting the daily subsistence and livelihoods of more than five million dependants in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a statement availed to this news agency by the Mining Industry Association of Southern Africa on Thursday.
“The mining sector remains the largest primary contributor to the Namibian Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the biggest export earner. We have managed to rake in N.dollars 30 billion, and created over 17 000 jobs, as well as constructed several mines in Namibia while other southern African countries are struggling,” said Malango.