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Bipa moves regional office to Walvis Bay

2021-10-01  Eveline de Klerk

Bipa moves regional office to Walvis Bay
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WALVIS BAY – Overwhelming interest from ambitious business entrepreneurs and the key role the Erongo region plays in terms of tourism, mining and fishing resulted in the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (Bipa) on Wednesday opening a branch at the coastal town of Walvis Bay. The Bipa office, which has been operational since July this year, was officially opened by the trade minister Lucia Iipumbu. 

Bipa was established in terms of the BIPA Act, 2016 (Act No. 8 of 2016), with the purpose to register and protect business and intellectual property rights. 

At the opening, Iipumbu said the contributions of Erongo is massive to the country’s economic development, with Walvis Bay being one of the driving forces towards such growth. 

This, she said, was one of the reasons Bipa moved their regional branch from Swakopmund to Walvis Bay.

“Walvis Bay, in particular, is home to one of the most prominent harbours in the Africa, connecting the world to Africa from the northern, eastern and western regions. The relocation was also primarily driven by demand and trade statistics. BIPA has been operating from an office on the premises of the Ministry of Industrialisation, as the office was established to decentralise services to the regions, in line with the government’s objective to take services to the people, especially in a sparsely populated Namibia, “she said.

According to Iipumbu, BIPA’s long-term aim of the office is to become an advocacy centre for businesses through the rendering of training and provision of information to understand owners’ requirements and obligations.

Ipumbu also pointed out the move from BIPA comes at the right time, seeing that the tourism and hospitality industry is currently in a recovery phase.

“The snowball effects of Covid-19 resulted in strict measures being implemented in the country. We know that these measures had a detrimental impact on especially businesses in the tourism sector, of which many are located in the Erongo region, hence the establishment of the BIPA office in Walvis Bay, which further aims to ensure that those entities that operate in the informal business sector now have the opportunity to become part of the formal business sector and become registered to ease access to various available assistance services,” said Iipumbu. 

Erongo governor Neville Andre also indicated his region, which is the tourism hub, indeed suffered immensely following the outbreak of Covid-19 and the continued lockdowns the region experienced.

“The resuscitation of business in the region is largely dependent on the international arena – and with this move from Bipa, access to business registration services, particularly for prospective business persons in the region, as well as international investors, will become a tangible reality,” said Andre.

2021-10-01  Eveline de Klerk

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