The Namibian (Windhoek)

Namibia - an Investor-Friendly Country

NAMIBIA is a republic and a practicing democracy with regular multi-party elections, Trade and Industry Minister Hage Geingob told potential American investors yesterday. "To deliver goods and services to our citizens, we have learnt that we must have partnership in governance - all Namibians must be stakeholders and all must be included."

He said Namibia's infrastructure can compete among the best in the world. "Our infrastructure is superior to that found in many places in the so-called First World, as you may observe. We have an excellent road and rail network, including transcontinental links to the Atlantic seaport of Walvis Bay."

Geingob told the potential investors that the Walvis Bay harbour "has a world-class standard of cargo handling and is a sheltered deep-water harbour".

The visit of the business delegation consisting of American and Canadian companies was organised by the Namibian embassy in the United States and is intended to give investors from North America an opportunity to interact with senior government officials and their counterparts in Namibia.

The delegation mostly consists of people with interests in the energy sector.

According to Geingob "our government is committed to the principles of a free-market economy. We recognise that it is our responsibility to establish the appropriate legal and regulatory framework to enable the private sector to operate effectively and to generate wealth".

Geingob added that this framework complements the country's political stability and its rule of law. "Such a situation is also acknowledged by independent observers, such as the World Bank, which rated Namibia as amongst those with the best investment climates in the whole of Africa."

Also welcoming the delegation, Mines and Energy Minister Isak Katali said: "Your visit comes at an opportune time, because energy issues are at the forefront of exciting developments taking place on our continent."

According to Katali, Namibia and the whole of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are experiencing a high electricity demand "which has outstripped supply due to among other factors the positive economic growth and rural electrification projects in most of the countries".

He added that Namibia has rich uranium and gas reserves, significant hydropower and oil potential and other renewable energy resources. "The challenge is to balance the demands of economic growth with long-term goals of social, environmental and economic sustainability," he said.

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