Mutorwa concerned about slow economic growth

23 Oct 2013 11:00am
WINDHOEK, 23 OCT (NAMPA) – The Namibian Government remains fully and unwaveringly committed towards creating and maintaining a conducive business environment for the country.
This was the view of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Minister John Mutorwa during a dinner hosted by the Namibia Investment Centre (NIC) for a 20-member business delegation from the United States of America (USA) and Canada here on Monday.
“Hence, our laws and regulatory frameworks are under review and being modernised to ensure that they are efficient and competitive at both national, regional and global levels,” he noted.
However, the minister expressed concern about the country’s slow drive towards accelerating economic growth, industrialisation and global competitiveness.
The reasons are, amongst others, a narrow industrial base with heavy reliance on the primary sector; existing local industries facing a number of supply-side constraints due to a lack of proper production technology and technical know-how; exports of primary commodities such as minerals, agriculture and fisheries being prone to the global economic market; market access constraints; and a lack of a pool of skilled labour.
Mutorwa said Namibia’s industrialisation will be based on the principles of smart partnership.
Partnership is recognised as a major prerequisite for the achievement of dynamic, efficient and sustainable development in the country.
It also involves co-operation between the government, communities and civil society, as well as different State institutions.
The minister also raised the concern that globally, investors tend to put developing countries, particularly those in Africa, in one basket.
“We do not support the one-size-fits-all approach, and will therefore emphasize Namibia-specific issues and their uniqueness in our international marketing strategy,” he added.
The visiting business delegation has interests in manufacturing, energy, agriculture, construction, information and communication technology (ICT), medical equipment, environmental research and legal services.
The visitors included Honorary Consuls of Namibia to Michigan, Audley ‘Kano’ Smith; Stephen Snively (Florida); and Walter McLean (Canada).
The delegation is leaving Namibia on Friday after several meetings at various ministries, State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and business organisations.