PRESIDENT Hage Geingob has called on the private sector, including commercial banks, to stop making excessive collateral demands, and share risks by funding new businesses.
Geingob made the call in a speech delivered on his behalf at the official opening of the first edition of the Ehao cultural expo at Okahao in the Omusati region on Saturday.
The head of state encouraged financial institutions to share risks by funding new business ideas in previously unchartered and unfunded economic areas in the country.
"Our financial institutions should start funding small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in sectors such as arts, crafts, leather processing, biltong production facilities, sports and film production, without asking unrealistic collateral amounts which are hindering new business ventures," Geingob urged.
He also suggested that financial institutions should reduce excessively high bank charges to comparable levels with those in other developing economies.
"Because currently, these bank charges are stifling SME growth," said the president, adding that the same prescriptions would apply to landlords who, while the economic times have changed adversely, strangely continue to charge SMEs exorbitant rent.
Geingob noted that the nation may continue to grow its economy if role-players get a new mindset of inclusivity towards new business ideas and SMEs.
The Ehao cultural expo presents businesses with the opportunity to showcase their various goods and services to prospective customers and service providers. It started last Thursday, and runs until Saturday, 29 June 2019.