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Namibia should develop self-reliance in basic commodities – PM

Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila says the recent disruptions in supply chains, causing shortages and price hikes in basic products, have exposed the vulnerability of Namibia's economy.

She highlighted the necessity of building national resilience through self-reliance on basic commodities.

The Prime Minister delivered these remarks at the opening of the Opuwo Trade Fair emphasising the importance of local production, value addition and reduced reliance on imports to safeguard the economy against supply chain disruptions and external shocks.

"Our government's development policy advocates for locally driven economic growth, harnessing the energies and creativities of our youth, and optimising the opportunities for increased trade brought about by regional integration and globalisation," Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said. 

Addressing a diverse audience that included government officials, community leaders, exhibitors, and the general public, the Prime Minister commended the efforts of the people of Opuwo in mobilising resources and organising the trade fair. 

She emphasised the rebounding economy after a prolonged downturn caused by weather-related emergencies and the Covid-19 pandemic, viewing it as an opportunity for emerging businesses to enter the market and for existing businesses to recover.

"The Namibian government has launched initiatives to support economic recovery, promote the development of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), and facilitate job creation. Measures outlined in the business rescue task force report are being implemented, including the establishment of a business rescue fund to assist debt-ridden companies in turning their fortunes around," she said.

Additionally, she said the government continues to use public procurement as a means to provide a market for local producers, urging Namibian businesses to venture into production to take advantage of these opportunities.

The Prime Minister stressed the importance of buying locally made products to support the development of local enterprises, create jobs, and reduce reliance on imports.

"It is also important for the resilience of our economy that we engage in value addition," asserted Prime Minister Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.

She emphasised that Namibia's abundant natural resources provide a basis for industrialisation through the processing of raw resources.

"By adding value to these resources, the country can optimise job creation and increase earnings, ensuring the maximum benefits from its natural resources," said the Premier.

Furthermore, she pledged the government's support for local businesses and foreign investors to promote increased investment in the country.

Trade fairs, such as the Opuwo Trade Fair, offer a platform for businesses to establish contacts that can translate into fruitful business relations.

She encouraged participants to effectively market their products and forge business connections that would support their growth.


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Last modified on Saturday, 27 May 2023 15:04

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