Global trade wars affect Namibian economy: Schlettwein

24 Jan 2019 17:30pm
WINDHOEK, 24 JAN (NAMPA) – The Namibian economy was largely impacted by ongoing global and regional events that caused a downturn and prolonged recession, Finance Minister, Calle Schlettwein has said.
Schlettwein made these remarks while addressing his ministry’s employees here on Thursday.
Speaking on the state of the economy, Schlettwein said the United States, China and the European Union (EU) are involved in a trade war and as a result, all parties have raised tariffs for their imports from each other.
This means that those commodities are more expensive and business people have been affected by the tariff increases.
Namibia, as a net importer of consumables, has been affected by the trade wars too, which is evident in the country’s inflation rates.
He also noted that uncertainties within the EU and Brexit caused instability, which is the biggest enemy of economic growth due to its ripple effect in the global environment.
“It also has an effect on how we develop global or international best practices. These trade wars undermine multilateralism in trade,” he said.
Progress on regional reforms were however positive in 2018, according to the minister, as international ratings agencies rated Namibia’s credit worthiness from negative to stable.
Namibia’s creditworthiness within the Southern African Customs Union and Common Monetary Area (CMA) is still at investment grade AA and stable.
The CMA links South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland into a monetary union with the South African Rand being central currency.
Schlettwein further stated that going forward the Namibian economy would be geared towards quality growth, recovery and spending.
As a public finance manager, the ministry is expected to perform its function prudently for optimum development and economic opportunities, especially during this time when the economy is emerging from a prolonged recession.
This, he said, should be done by formalising and administering financial sector policies for inclusive growth, wealth creation and the erosion of poverty and inequalities.