On 21 March 2020 Namibia celebrated 30 years of independence, peace and prosperity, creating the ideal conditions for sound investments. This year also marks the continuation of a long-standing partnership between the Government and the private sector dating back to independence. It is therefore my pleasure to welcome you to the 2020/2021 edition of the Namibia Trade Directory (NTD).

The theme of this year’s edition of the Namibia Trade Directory, ‘Business Ecosystems’, comes at a time when the global economy has slowed down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Namibian economy has inevitably also been affected adversely by the pandemic and it will not be business as usual once the pandemic has been brought under control. Businesses would be required to come up with new and innovative ideas going forward and this year’s theme of the NTD is therefore most appropriate: creating networks of suppliers, distributors, customers and Government agencies that are in competition and cooperation.

In the past few years, the Government has enacted several laws and put into place policies to encourage private-sector investments that will enable Namibia to move closer to the development main goal of Vision 2030 to be ‘a prosperous and industrialised country, developed by its human resources, enjoying peace, harmony and political stability’.

Namibia has a wealth of natural resources and local value addition is one of the most important features of the Growth at Home strategy. Priority industrialisation programmes identified include agro-processing, green economy, steel manufacturing and metal fabrication, the automotive and chemical industries, and pharmaceuticals, to mention but a few.

To encourage direct foreign investment, the Export Processing Zone tax incentives and manufacturers’ incentives are being phased out and will be replaced by the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) regime. In another major development, the Namibia Investment Centre, which has been functioning as a department in the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade, will be replaced with the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board. It will promote a conducive business environment and market the country as a favourable business destination.

Despite its small domestic market, Namibia’s access to Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries creates opportunities for the export of locally manufactured goods to a market of 350 million people. Namibia has positioned itself as a logistics hub for the SADC. Major investments include the multi-billion container terminal at the port of Walvis Bay which doubled its existing container-handling capacity, while the phased construction of the North Port SADC Gateway is continuing.

Honourable Lucia Iipumbu (MP)

To facilitate the smooth flow of goods to SADC countries, the country has invested billions of Namibian dollars to improve its road transport and railway network to SADC countries. The quality of its roads is ranked as the best in Africa, while its road, railroad, airport and shipping infrastructure is the third best in the SADC region.

Opportunities for Public Private Partnership (PPP) investments have been identified in key areas such as renewable energy, housing (especially for middle- and low-income earners), and specialised services in the health and education sectors, water provision and land servicing.

Namibia’s history has shown that its people are resilient in the face of adversity and seemingly impossible challenges. And while it will take the country’s economy some time to recover from the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Namibia will be ready to welcome investors for business unusual in a country offering a stable investment environment.

Lucia Iipumbu (MP)

Minister Of Industrialisation and Trade