Iipumbu outlines MIT priorities

By Hilary Mare

MINISTER of Industrialisation and Trade, Lucia Iipumbu has outlined policy and legislative priorities of her ministry for the 2021 financial year highlighting among others the Namibia Property Practitioner Bill that will be presented to the Cabinet Committee for Legislation (CCL) during the first week of April.

Iipumbu who last week was addressing staff at her ministry also noted that the Metrology Bill is to be tabled in parliament this year.

“We will also have the finalisation and implementation of the revised Namibia Investment Promotion Act (NIPA) and its regulations. We are awaiting the amendment on the Competition Act for ministerial input by NaCC and the ministry will start working on the Merchandise Act in order to transfer the function to BIPA,” she said adding that her ministry intends to conclude the implementation strategy on AfCTA which will outline how Namibia is going to optimise the benefits of this new market access.

Confidente understands that the SADC EU EPA Agreement is set to be reviewed later on in the year as stipulated in clauses of the agreement. To this, Iipumbu said that Namibia’s focus will be more flexible rules of origin.

Other priority areas for 2021, Iipumbu said include the finalisation of the Special Economic Zones Policy and subsequently the law and regulations, finalisation of key sectoral master plans such as on the Poultry, Automotive and Mineral Beneficiation Implementation Strategy, the finalisation of the school uniform design phase and immediate engagement of production phase, finalisation of the commissioning and installation phase of the Invader Bush Processing Plant at Otjiwarongo, in partnership with UNIDO, the finalisation of SME and industrial parks by NIDA without delays and improving Namibia’s competitiveness ranking by addressing ease of doing business through the Integrated Client Service Facility.

“I also urge our agencies (NIDA, BIPA, NaCC and NSI) to deliver on their mandate. I want to see your business and strategic plan and I want to see how you are meeting your goals and objectives as agencies of this ministry. I want to isolate NSI to start working on its financial prudence of resources given to them both by government and their own revenues,” encouraged Iipumbu.

Iipumbu also said that the year 2020 was a tough year, a year preceded by the Covid-19 pandemic which engulfed the entire world and slowed down work activities, trade and commerce across the region and the globe.

“The pandemic has negatively affected the already economic headwinds that we experienced over the past two years. The significance of this new year cannot be over-emphasised considering the coronavirus pandemic. Despite, the economic challenges, budget constraints, and the Covid-19 pandemic, we (the ministry) have recollected our success and achieved some deliverables and milestones during last year,” she said.