The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Economics and Public Administration, led by chairperson Natangwe Ithete, is on a fact-finding mission to towns in the Oshikoto, Oshana and Ohangwena regions.
At a meeting on Sunday with the branch leadership of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), the country’s national business sector representative body again used the opportunity to highlight concerns standing in the way of economic growth.
Although applauding the implementation of a credit guarantee scheme by government, the NCCI feels more can be done to relax collateral and security requirements against loans. They pointed out that by doing so, enterprises will be better-placed to swiftly access much- needed loans for working capital to fund assets and stock needs.
According to a statement released on Monday, the chamber also feels that government should explore, with the financial services sector, more creative funding mechanisms, tailored for the specific needs of Namibia’s enterprise sector, and not to just copy-and-paste products from South Africa.
“Growing security and the inactiveness on the part of the police to respond swiftly to reports of criminal activity and to stem the smuggling of goods, including liquid fuel, from neighbouring countries, was another concern expressed by the NCCI,” reads the statement. The chamber also highlighted its concerns about a skewed investment promotion strategy of government that favours foreign investors, and ignores the importance of domestic investment.
The NCCI feels that the decentralisation of services is long-overdue, and cited the operations of the business regulatory authority BIPA as an example, lamenting that access to much-needed services adds to the cost of doing business, especially for small enterprises in towns and villages across Namibia.
The NCCI likewise bemoaned the fact that it is taking far too long for changes to be ushered in that will make Namibia’s business landscape conducive for local entrepreneurs to start an enterprise, and to position already-existing firms for growth.