Government managing economy in responsible manner: Geingob

21 Sep 2016 19:00pm
WINDHOEK, 21 SEP (NAMPA) – Government remains committed to manage the economy in a responsible manner, and has already instituted expenditure, revenue and structural reform measures to address the concerns raised by rating agencies about the country’s long-term outlook.
President Hage Geingob expressed these sentiments during the general debate of the United Nations’ General Assembly in New York, USA on Wednesday.
In his statement made available to Nampa on Wednesday he said: “We would like to assure all our partners that there is no risk that Namibia will not honour debt obligations in the near and medium term. In fact, we remain bullish about the country’s economic outlook.
“Moreover, we remain committed to creating conditions in Namibia that will enable full participation of the private sector in the economy. Government alone cannot shoulder the burden of extending development to all. The private sector has a crucial role to play in stimulating economic growth and job creation in our country”.
The Fitch Credit Rating agency earlier this month revised Namibia's economic outlook from stable to negative.
It said: “The rating agency is particularly concerned that despite strengthening its tax collection mechanisms, Namibia would not be able to collect enough money to pay off government debts – calculated at 38,2 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at the end of 2015”.
Geingob stated that Namibia agrees with the notion that the successors of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will need to fully integrate economic growth, social justice and environmental stewardship.
In terms of economic growth, he said countries need to talk about inclusive growth that will translate into creation of decent job opportunities for its citizens. “In other words, governments must do more to move away from the current jobless growth model that prevails in many member countries.”
The president noted that Namibia should aim to grow its economy in a sustainable and inclusive manner in order to ensure that it tackles the scourge of poverty effectively.
As a consequence of the slowdown in the global economic cycle, and a fall in commodity prices, the Namibian economy is experiencing a downturn in 2016, following robust growth averaging more than five per cent during the preceding five years.
“We are mindful that in order to make a meaningful dent on poverty, we need to grow at a higher level. We remain optimistic about the long-term outlook for Namibia as the key economic fundamentals, including fiscal sustainability and sustainability of our external current account remains intact,” he added.