Dubai investment leads surpass target

• By Hilary Mare

NAMIBIA’S pavilion at the Dubai Expo has to date generated a total of 123 investment leads which is well above the targeted 10 leads a month, Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) senior manager; marketing, branding and communications, Catherine Shipushu has said.

Shipushu this week said that most investors’ interest is in the area of green hydrogen.

“Recorded leads indicate investor interest in other key industries such as agriculture, education, tourism, and various trade activities. In terms of country of origin, over 50 percent of potential investors emanate from the United Arab Emirates, with less than 10 percent of African origin,” she said.

Namibia’s participation at the Expo 2020 Dubai is anchored in the primary objective of positioning the country as an attractive investment destination by stimulating investor interest in the country.

“The highlight of the expo so far is the highly successful Namibia Renewable Energy Summit hosted in November 2021, attended by participants from all over the globe and potential investors from China, India, Zimbabwe, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

“The summit was organised with the objective of showcasing investment opportunities in the renewable energy space and to provide insight into the legal framework that governs investments in the Namibian energy sector. The Minister of Mines and Energy, Hon. Tom Alweendo officiated at the hybrid event that featured speakers from the Ministry of Mines and Energy, NamPower and the Electricity Control Board,” further stated Shipushu.

The expo in which 191 other countries are participating offers a wealth of opportunities for Namibia to galvanise investment opportunities and explore areas of economic cooperation for mutual benefit with other participating nations.

The country is also benefiting in the area of knowledge transfer particularly in terms of technological innovations and other sustainable solutions to economic progression.

“Essentially, successful participation in the expo provides an opportunity to improve economic complexity through lucrative investment opportunities that will secure long-term benefits such as tourist attraction, job creation and sustainable economic diversification, amongst others,” Shipushu emphasised.

Since officially opening its doors on October 1 2021, the Namibian Pavilion has recorded a steadily increasing visitor count that currently stands at 146 855 representing an average of 37 000 visitors per month.

“The categories of visitors range from curious expo goers, potential investors to high-ranking government officials including the UAE’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, His Excellency Sheikh Shakhboot Nahyan Al Nahyan to our Prime Minister, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, amongst others.

“The pavilion has also hosted a number of Namibian delegations representing numerous sectors and entities including the Environmental Investment Fund, the Road Administration Fund, City of Windhoek, and the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry – who were in Dubai for various business engagements,” further stated Shipushu.

She concluded that the NIPDB has the mammoth responsibility to ensure a return on government’s investment into this expo.

“As such the board remains committed to carrying out this assignment to ensure that the outcomes of the country’s participation at the expo positively contribute towards ensuring economic prosperity for all Namibians,” she said.