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Nam rakes in a billion in FDI

Mon, 19 January 2015 04:06
by Tiri Masawi
Business

Namibia attracted Foreign Direct
Investment (FDI) worth N$1 335 883
951.00 creating about 4 621 full time
jobs in the running financial year
2014/2015 which is expected to wind down in
March, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry
Tjekero Tweya has revealed.
Tweya, who was speaking in an engaging
interview with our sister publication Prime
Focus in the running edition, also confirmed
that the numbers are expected to continue
swelling in the future as foreign firms continue
to heighten their appetite for Namibian
investments.
“Technically, in terms of the FDI, we have
opened new markets from the traditional
markets (Europe) which is just one where
you cannot negotiate. If you have alternative
markets, you can go to other markets. We
should be price-driven and be able to move
to other markets. I have been privileged to be
a part of opening different markets. We need
champions who understand the new reality.
We are looking at SACU - one member that
determines the price - and this is the same in
SADC. This cannot be like this. We will need
to start regrouping and say if they do not buy
our products then we will consume our own
products,” Tweya said.
However mining continues to be the sector
that is more attractive to the foreign investors
despite the regular fluctuation of metal and
precious stone prices.
Namibia still a captive market
While expressing satisfaction with the
level of FDI trickling into the country, Tweya
, however, suggested that Namibia still needs
to continue consolidating the efforts made to
grow local industries in a bid to stimulate local
production.
His sentiments were related to the influx of
South African goods even in other sectors where
locals can produce. The heavy influx of somewhat
unnecessary imports including toilet paper,
vegetables and even tooth picks has stifled local
industry growth as market penetration becomes
a herculean task because of competition.
“We are still just a captive market for other
people and a lot still needs to be done. In the
field of agriculture with our green scheme and
fresh hubs in Rundu, we are bringing them
to join Trans-Kalahari to sell in the DRC. We
have just concluded the EPA, now with EPA
we only sold beef and Fish, of which the main
consumer was Spain. If we stop exporting Fish
to Spanish markets, this would create chaos in
their factories and our grapes could not even go
to the US,” he said.
Talking tough on retailers
Tweya said there is a need for legislation that
compels local retail shops of a foreign origin
to take Namibian products or face the music.
He also admits that the proliferation into the
market has not been easy for locals as it is for
the foreign suppliers as there are bottlenecks in
the system.
“Yes, I am fully aware of that (challenges
of locals not getting market space). We want
to address it at two levels, most of this foreign
retailers would not want Namibian products
sold in their shops but though the Namibian
manufacturers association, Team Namibia,
NCCI and other Stakeholders, we are working
on the retail charter, it would address this
concern that all these retail shops will in
future, be obliged to make room for Namibian
products,” he said,” he said.
He added that Team Namibia should be used
the conveyer belt for engaging the retail sector.
Through Team Namibia, it will be made
clear that if they want to access “Namibian
products, they know where to find them.
Not to discriminate but to make it easier
for a consumer who wants to buy proudly
Namibian products through Team Namibia.
Encourage producers to become members of
Team Namibia and thus have a corner where
consumers can just find Namibian products.”
Adding that, “This can also be done for other
products to give consumers a choice if they
want to have expired products from anywhere
else in the world or wholly Namibian. Most
of them would be fresh. That is at one level
through retail charter.”
He also added that, “If a company does not
subscribe to that, its future would have to be in
balance, we will allow them to do business here
and therefore they must comply with the laws.
The second level is what we refer to as those in
manufacturing, for instance the IIP, the Infant
Industry Protection another policy tool to help
Industrial Policy take its route. I am sure you
are aware that as a government we have been
taken to court before by the Poultry industry
as well as the Dairy industry and the other one
as the Cement industry but I am not sure if it is
concluded, it is also pending.”
He also added that the Government also
needs to craft policies that communicate to each
other.
“Now all these are policy tools to enable us
to give meaning to our Industrial Policy. What
does that mean? Those who want to venture into
Poultry instead of competing with the cheap
products dumped in Namibia, we are saying we
want you to produce your own Poultry. There
is no reason why Chicken should be imported
when we’ve got in the rural areas enough
Chickens but we do not want this battered
economy commercial,” he said.