WINDHOEK - The revised Namibia Investment Promotion Act of 2016, which is currently in its draft form, will soon enter the legal drafting process and is expected to be promulgated soon.
The reviewed policy was enacted in 2016 as the Namibia Investment Promotion Act (NIPA) of 2016 (Act No. 9 of 2016). However, enforcement of the said Act was halted due to a number of legal drafting issues.
Deputy Director Projects and Incentives at the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development Wilbard Nashandi revealed that NIPA is currently in its final form and will soon enter the legal drafting process.
He said the final Act is anticipated to be promulgated either by end of 2018 or in the first quarter of 2019.
At independence, the Namibian government passed the Foreign Investment Act as a legal framework for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country.
However, over the years government realised that the Foreign Investment Act had certain shortcomings in terms of attracting FDI, as well as concerning the stimulation of local investment.
Hence, Nashandi said, it was decided that the Act be reviewed.
The intention for the policy was to align investment promotion and facilitation issues with the government’s sustainable development goals. For the development of the policy, Nanshandi said, Namibia benchmarked against emerging reform trends and policy guidelines that developed globally, as well as conducted consultative processes with both public institutions and the private sector.
The revised Act addresses the definition of a domestic and foreign investor, as well as investment; designation of some economic subsectors to foreign investors; and the signing of performance agreements with investors.
The revised Act also ensures that admission procedures for foreign investors are transparent, the ease of doing business when setting up a company and sets out clear guidelines for investor dispute procedures.
Nashandi said the new Act also introduces performance agreements for large-scale investments in key sectors, negotiated based on a net benefit criterion, which is also clearly stated within the policy that the investor should meet, as well as certain incentives that government may offer.
Further, he noted NIPA also has extensive provisions on investment promotion.
Equally, he explained the approach of addressing investment promotion has been realigned and focuses on three issues.
The first part includes the promotion, facilitation and policy-related functions of the Investment Promotion Agency.
The second part addresses the responsibilities of the Investment Promotion Agency to promote both domestic and foreign investment.
The third provision details the efficient and effective administrative procedures available to investors through a one-stop-shop facility.
An observation made is that Namibia’s Foreign Investments Act 27 of 1990 is still in force in the country until it’s replaced.