Schlettwein calls for development of retail charter

29 Jul 2013 11:30
WINDHOEK, 29 JUL (NAMPA) – The Minister of Trade and Industry, Calle Schlettwein has urged the local retail sector to develop a Namibian Retail Charter in order to facilitate the sector’s transformation.
Schlettwein said this during a one-day strategic consultative meeting with stakeholders in the retail sector here on Monday.
“The Namibian Retail Charter should be a guide for policy review and transformation of the Namibian retail sector within a given time frame, and in the context of the goals and targets of Vision 2030 and our fourth National Development Plan,” he said.
Schlettwein noted that the charter should reflect Namibia’s reality, have the objective of facilitating the transformation of the sector, and bring about tangible benefits for Namibians.
The minister said this charter should include work streams such as, but not limited to, local sourcing and assistance with the promotion, marketing and distribution of Namibian produce and manufactured goods, transparency and fairness in procurement procedures, terms of credit and payment, and rebate provisions to the extent that no discrimination or bad treatment may exist towards any Namibian supplier.
He added that the charter should also support domestic value chain and supplier development, as well as regional value chain development.
Also to be included are local ownership and control, including the empowerment of formerly disadvantaged Namibians; gender equity, human resource development, employee health and safety; and corporate and social investment.
“The charter should not be limited to consumer protection regarding the safety and standards of products, the supply chains of these products, and their environmental and social impacts,” Schlettwein indicated.
The minister, however, stated that the NRC should be a voluntarily adopted transformation charter, which constitutes a framework and establishes the principles upon which transformation will be implemented in the retail sector.
He added that it should constitute a partnership programme which provides the basis for the sector's engagement with other stakeholders, and should establish targets and quantified responsibilities with respect to all work streams.