Trade minister Lucia Ipumbu has said that she has no record of any foreign investor that has fled from the Namibian jurisdiction yet due to the vagaries of the coronavirus.
The pandemic which has hit Namibia’s economic harbour at the coastal town of Walvis bay has battered businesses, culminating into mass retrenchments.
A business rescue package meant to supplement the wage bill on companies that promises not to retrench during this pandemic period has been shunned by some who have proceeded to restructure.
With the global economy having over-heated already, the future of foreign direct investment in the short to medium term is masked by uncertainty.
But Ipumbu, who is new in the ministry which she took over from Tjekero Tweya is upbeat about economic recovery post-Covid.
Soon after pumping some confidence in the local business community at NIPAM where she also shared some notes with new finance minister Ipumbu Shiimi, Ipumbu told Eagle FM that the fact that planes are grounded can only mean that investors are still hanging around.
“One can not say there were investors who came and left because you know the airspace is closed. However, our activities are continuing online. We do have online meetings. Two days ago, we had a virtual meeting with the minister for trade in India as we are instilling hope in them that our activities are still ongoing irrespective of the challenges. We want to make it possible for investors to come and register their businesses within the shortest possible period of time. And in the process, for us to improve on our competitors because we are ranked far which has an impact on investor confidence. We still continue with virtual arrangements,” she said.
Despite the blows the economy has taken so far, the minister is still hanging on to the hopes of Vision 2030.
Independent analysts have long poured waters on this aspiration is a mere pipe-dream.