Accelerate Economic Growth: Schlettwein

23 May 2013 10:40

WALVIS BAY, 23 MAY (NAMPA) - Namibia?s economic growth needs to be accelerated to deliver jobs, fair benefits to the whole of society and reduce income inequality, Trade and Industry Minister Calle Schlettwein said.
He made this statement during a one-day consultative meeting with representatives of the logistics? sector at this coastal hub on Thursday.
The consultative meeting focused on aspects of optimising the critical link between logistics and the ministry?s desire to develop and boost local manufacturing and supply-side capacity, trade and investment.
Schlettwein explained that the consultative meeting will act as a platform for officials at the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) to engage stakeholders in the logistics? sector to jointly take stock of the sector?s current role, and to see how it can further contribute to unlocking investments.
?We need to examine the current state, structure and capacity of the sector; the reasons for the current state, as well as any constraints that are inhibiting the sector to effectively play the catalytic role that is expected of it,? he noted.
The minister further indicated that logistics and supply chains are important and integral parts of any economy, as it includes linkages, information exchanges and relationships formed by all those who are involved in the chain.
?Integrated and efficient logistics are strongly associated with a country?s ability to harness domestic investment and to attract foreign direct investments, trade expansions, export diversification and economic growth,? he stated.
Namibia is strategically located and positioned to serve as an important logistics? hub, serving its landlocked neighbours and offering cost-effective logistics and transhipment services for goods destined for other parts of the world.
To optimally develop this significant potential, all modes of transportation thus need to be syncronised and coordinated.
?The port of Walvis Bay, Walvis Bay airport and the road and rail links must be connected to form this logistics? hub for southern Africa,? Schlettwein suggested.
Apart from the development of a logistical hub in Walvis Bay, his ministry intends to establish industrial parks which will supply the logistics? sector with value-added and repackaged goods for distribution and final consumption.
?For Namibia to be reckoned as a competitive logistics? centre and player in the regional and global marketplace, there is a need for the local logistics? and supply chain management environment to continuously improve in terms of the quality of service and efficiency,? he added.