We consulted extensively -Iipumbu

Industrialisation and Trade minister Lucia Iipumbu says the ministry consulted widely before drafting the Namibia Investment Promotion and Facilitation Act (NIPA), which was tabled before Parliament on Thursday and subsequently withdrawn.

The sudden withdrawal of the Bill gave rise to speculation that industry was not happy with some sections of the draft law that give the Minister too much power to make investment decisions on behalf of the country.

Iipumbu, however, said the withdrawal in Parliament was a tactical move and insisted that the Bill in its current form had taken into consideration inputs from various stakeholders, including the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry – the country’s umbrella body of business.

“We had to withdraw it because there was not enough time to debate it in Parliament. As you might know, it's closing today, so the discussion period was short. So it will be tabled when there is ample time,” she told The Brief.

The Namibian Parliament is going into recess today (2 December) and is only expected to resume sitting on the 8th of February 2022.

Asked if the ministry will again consult stakeholders before tabling the bill next year, Iipumbu said: “We will see if there is a need to consult again but extensive consultations were already done through the NCCI. We will have to see. We might table it in its current form.”

The Minister added that the setting up of the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) had also been a consideration for the decision to table the Bill at a later stage.

“We had to apply brakes taking into consideration the setting up of the NIPDB,” Iipumbu.

In her motivation, Iipumbu said the Bill aims to provide for the promotion and facilitation of foreign and Namibian investment to enhance sustainable economic development and reduce unemployment.

If passed into law, the NIPA is also expected to create a conducive environment to attract, retain and facilitate both domestic and foreign sustainable investment in the country and allow the designation of certain economic sectors and business activities to be reserved for certain categories of investors.

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Last modified on Friday, 03 December 2021 15:01

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