WINDHOEK – President Hage Geingob on Thursday evening invited representatives of key global private sector players to invest in Namibia and to share their innovative approaches and expertise. Geingob and his delegation hosted the Invest in Namibia networking dinner on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, which took place in the United States of America.
“We need your investment to support our enterprise development efforts as a vehicle to creating sustainable jobs for our young people. Investors are welcome in the priority sectors of agro-processing, renewable energy, infrastructure and water supply,” Geingob told the gathering in New York.
The President informed potential investors that the Namibian economy, like many others in the southern African region, has experienced serious downturn in the past four years but still presents many opportunities for trade and investment.
Geingob noted that as a result of the challenging economic environment, government undertook a policy of fiscal consolidation for the purpose of preserving macro-economic stability through the containment of debt stock and reduction of public spending. However, he emphasised that fiscal consolidation alone will not lead to sustained economic growth, job creation and poverty eradication.
“Government vision is for a robust Namibian economy, one in which the needs and dreams of the people are met, is the best environment for the preservation and expansion of their success and the peace and equanimity of all Namibians. We have one of the most unequal societies as a result of historic structural inequalities, and not addressing this longstanding issue is a recipe for disaster,” Geingob stated.
He added that his dream is to eradicate poverty and create favourable conditions for economic growth that result in shared prosperity.
“When I speak of poverty eradication and shared prosperity, I am not connoting that every citizen will live in wealth. Our aim is to ensure that we produce a society in which every citizen has equal opportunity to receive the minimum requirements for a dignified life and to pursue their talents with equal opportunity,” Geingob continued before quoting Nobel Laureate, Joseph Stiglitz who once said, “Development is about transforming the lives of people, not just transforming economies”.
The President stressed that government’s ability to deliver a dignified life to all Namibian citizens and to improve socio-economic living standards nationwide depends on the leadership’s moral fortitude and willingness to pursue bold and new policies, which speak to the reality of the country’s socio-economic architecture.
“The Namibia Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework is one of our key policy priorities in redressing historical imbalances and formulating a new economic identity, which is reflective of an enlightened, fair and more equitable post-independence Namibian society. We do recognise that it is not governments that create wealth, but the private sector. Governments can only provide a conducive macroeconomic and business environment. It is up to the private sector to identify opportunities and turn them into bankable business propositions. That is why we say that you – the private sector – are the ultimate creators of wealth,” Geingob commented.
He continued that Namibia’s economic growth trajectory is centered on a dynamic private sector, which is why legislative frameworks have been adopted to leverage Public-Private-Partnerships, to enable inclusive growth and shared prosperity.
“We want to remain a competitive economy. A month ago, we announced key public policy reforms to enhance the ease of doing business and facilitate the movement of goods and services. These reforms have bolstered investor confidence, resulting in important private sector commitments in the economy,” said Geingob.
Other reasons Geingob touted investment in Namibia is due to the ease, openness and operation of a business as per the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business indicators, also noting that according to the World Economic Forum, Namibia is among the top 10 most competitive economies in Africa.
“We are making further efforts to eradicate barriers in the process of conducting business and trade transactions. This is necessary to allow companies to file standard information and documents through a single entry point to fulfill all import, export and transport related regularly requirement,” Geingob reiterated.
Furthermore, he told potential investors that Namibia fully embraces regional and continental economic integration. We must break down regional barriers to trade and as Sadc, specialise according to our own unique competitive advantages and develop strong regional value chains that will be able to compete globally.
“I am pleased to also announce that business people with established businesses in Namibia will be issued with multiple entry visas valid for five years. We are also working on modalities to issue upon application, residence permits for foreign pensioners on the back of capital investment with determined thresholds,” Geingob concluded.
2019-10-01 07:38:18 14 days ago