The private sector is urged to make use of the support provided through government policies. Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila on Monday said, in doing so, formal sector companies are urged to support local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by providing shelf space for locally produced products, financing and mentorship.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila made these remarks at the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) strategic retreat.
“The current practice of sidelining local produce in preference for imports has an effect of exporting jobs, draining our foreign reserves and undermining the development of local industries whose products are crowded out of the market by cheap. often low-quality imports. It should, thus, be discontinued,” she instructed. The PM further noted that Namibia should embrace inclusivity in the ownership and management of private sector firms and optimise the use of local human resources by preferring Namibians in employment, investing in local skills development, including providing opportunities for internships, promoting sound labour relations and investing in the welfare of employees.
According to Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, the doors of government remain open to the private sector and other development stakeholders for engagement to find ways of taking Namibia out of the current economic slump and putting the economy on a growth trajectory that will enable the country to reach its vision 2030 goals.
“A thriving private sector is a precondition for economic growth and development. The government will, thus, continue to prioritise the maintenance of a supportive environment for private sector growth,” said the PM.
But for private sector growth to bring about a high and sustainable national economic growth and development, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila outlined that it is crucial that such growth optimises local beneficiation, including employment creation and market linkages, and that it promotes economic resilience by promoting diversification and industrial development while promoting export growth. According to her, Vision 2030 aspires for an increase in the manufacturing and service sectors to 80% of gross domestic product (GDP), a robust network of modern infrastructure in rail, telecommunication and port facilities, high-quality employment and poverty eradication.
“The private sector plays a catalytic role in the realisation of this vision. To be able to play its role, the private sector needs to enhance industries’ capacities to innovate to improve productivity and business competitiveness,” the PM specified.