MESSAGE FROM THE MINSTER 2023-04-12T10:16:51+00:00
Honourable Lucia Iipumbu (MP)

It is my distinct pleasure to present to you the 31st edition of the Namibia Trade Network (NTN) 2022/2023. This year’s theme, “Reviving an Economy”, is timely and relevant as it comes at a time when the country is making great strides towards economic recovery. It also signifies the role played by various stakeholders to realise the much-needed aggregate economic restoration and growth. It is therefore important to acknowledge the interventions made by the Namibian government to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy through a combination of support measures as well as other assistance provided by various stakeholders. These actions largely cushioned the economy from the worst effects of the crisis.

The Namibian government recognises the importance of public and private sector engagements in responding to the various challenges facing our economy, including spearheading private sector development and shaping the country’s developmental agenda and aspirations. It is therefore worth noting that there are indicators which suggest that the economy is buoyant and recovery is taking place post the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions by the government, while being cognisant of the challenges posed by the Ukraine-Russia war with growing concerns about commodity shortages. Fuel prices, in particular, have underpinned the rise in inflation across countries, including Namibia, and the resulting rise in the prices of basic commodities has put pressure on households and businesses whose incomes have already been hit by a series of shocks.

The recovery of key sectors, such as tourism, mining and agriculture, and the resumption of major trading activities with large multiplier effects on the rest of the economy are crucial in driving economic growth. Equally, new diversification initiatives such as green energy, manufacturing, logistics and services have a lot of potential, while ICT and digital transformation present new opportunities that must be exploited in the economic recovery process.

Our “Growth at Home” strategy emphasises the need for increased value addition to our locally available resources and inputs for greater socio-economic benefits at home where such resources originate. This is also crucial for self-sustenance and increased exports. The government has thus resolved to support commodity-based industrialisation by putting the right policies and regulatory framework in place, which can serve as a launching pad for long-term product diversification and competitiveness.

In this regard, the implementation of economic revival initiatives, including the diversification of economic activities such as exports opportunities, may lead to positive spillover effects. There is thus a need to support businesses, especially MSMEs, and ensure informal sector development. It is further vital to enhance targeted investment promotion from both domestic and foreign sources, as well as skills development in highly sought fields. The combined efforts of private and public sector stakeholders are critical for Namibia’s recovery. This will go a long way toward instilling optimism and increasing investor confidence.

This year’s edition of the NTN provides vital information on the Namibian business landscape and I wish you a pleasant read as we are recovering as a country from the economic hard knocks.