4 December 2012

Namibia: Revised Investment Act to Empower Namibians

Windhoek — Namibia's Investment Act, which is currently being overhauled, will eventually reserve some sectors of the country's economy for Namibians only, but will also explore avenues for foreign national joint venture arrangements.

This was revealed by Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Tjekero Tweya, last Tuesday when he launched the Arandis Investment Conference and Mining, Mineral and Energy Expo slated for April 2013. Tweya said Namibia's Investment Act is being reviewed to ensure that it remains relevant and effective by being suitable and compatible with the current global economic realities.

"The review of the Investment Act is therefore premised on safe, worthy, predictable and sustained direct investment in Namibia, with a clear focus that it should complement and not just supplement domestic investment," said Tweya.

The deputy minister said the Act is also being reviewed with the purpose of channelling investments in such a manner that would produce realistic investor returns, and to create economic productive capacity for Namibia, which will spur the country's competitiveness and industrialisation drive.

Government, through the Ministry of Trade and Industry, has prioritised the diversification of the economy by promoting the establishment of manufacturing and increased value addition to locally produced goods.

Tweya explained that the objective is to increase the annual contribution of the manufacturing sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and to reduce the country's reliance on extractive industries, while creating permanent and sustainable jobs. Therefore, the incentives offered to investors are specifically aimed at stimulating the manufacturing sector and the promotion of exports. This policy would effectively reduce Namibia's high unemployment rate, authorities believe.

"To take advantage of the incentives, companies must be registered in Namibia and be involved in the manufacturing of any type of product, while meat and fish processing or minerals extraction do not qualify," said the deputy minister.

The Arandis Investment Conference and Mining, Mineral and Energy Expo will focus on the investment potential of Arandis, which was initially developed as a mining town about 60 km from Swakopmund in the Erongo Region.

Tweya, who is the patron of the conference, congratulated the Arandis Town Council for organising the event, which he said should naturally bring investors together in order to develop the town and the Erongo Region at large.

Next year's conference will take place under the theme "Finding Financial Solutions for Sustainable Development Initiatives".

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