27 Oct 2016 12:30pm
WINDHOEK, 27 OCT (NAMPA) The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) has called on Government to find ways to harmonise existing investment policies in order to lure more investors to the country.
NCCI members made the suggestion during a breakfast meeting here on Wednesday, held in collaboration with the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development (MITSMED).
The meeting was convened to give an update on the preparations of the 2016 International Investment Conference slated for next month.
The members called on the prioritizing of high-standards investment policies to make the country an international investment hub.
We need to iron out differences and consult each other when formulating policies. The Namibian economy must grow, Chief Executive Officer at Bidvest Namibia, Sebby Kankondi said.
Another representative of the business community questioned Governments definition of investors, noting that some investors are killing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by investing smaller industries such as the taxi industry, hairdressing and cuca shops.
Members said Namibia cannot rely only on Government to drive the economy and need local and foreign investors. However, Government should protect local investors and encourage joint ventures with foreign investors.
While Namibia is grappling with water and power shortages, investment in these areas should be a top priority, they argue.
We must use our obstacles as opportunities for investors, said NCCI's Windhoek branch chairperson Parastus Nepolo.
Government should also look at the needs of the country before inviting investors as they often export natural resources without adding value to products.
Meanwhile, MITSMED Permanent Secretary, Gabriel Sinimbo said the ministry received various interests from local and foreign investors to attend the conference.
About 800 local and foreign investors are expected to attend the event, Sinimbo announced during the meeting.
We received positive responses from interested investors. We are ready to host a tangible conference, he said.
The event is expected to raise Namibias investment profile as an attractive and welcoming destination for investment in the region.
The targeted investment projects in key industries such as energy, agriculture, low-cost housing, tourism, manufacturing and infrastructure will be discussed during the conference. These will contribute towards economic growth, accelerate industrialisation and subsequently create jobs in the country, according to Sinimbo.
The conference, which will be held under the theme Promoting investment for inclusive growth and industrialisation is scheduled to take place as from 08 to 09 November 2016 in Windhoek.