Investment board awaits NIPA

By Hilary Mare

THE much anticipated Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) which was earlier in the year announced by President Hage Geingob will only come into effect after the finalisation of the new Namibia Investment Promotion Act (NIPA), industry and trade minister, Lucia Iipumbu has said.

The ministry is currently drafting the new NIPA with inputs from various stakeholders to ensure their inputs are considered and that the new investment law would conform to all existing legislation.

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“Following the announcement by the President to establish a new NIPDB, NIPA is expected to also include the details of the board’s formation,” explained Iipumbu adding that once finalised, NIPA will address investor performance requirements, restrict economic subsectors to foreign investors, make investor registration compulsory and introduce a crucial aspect of investor tracking and management with clear guidelines for investor dispute procedures.

“The revised NIPA will drive the economic reservation of certain sectors for Namibians,” Iipumbu said.

She went on to say that her ministry remains committed to developing a competitive industrial sector in the country by having policies and strategies in place pertaining to industrial development to encourage the supply-chain capacity of local industries ensuring an increased contribution of the manufacturing sector to the country’s GDP.

“The ministry will also continue to develop industrial infrastructure by ensuring the availability of appropriate industrial premises and related infrastructure to make it easy for economic agents to create and operate industries especially for MSMEs.

“The Growth at Home Strategy is comprehensive and has flagged sectors that can be prioritised. The agro-processing component of the strategy is key to prioritise.

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Lessons from the pandemic are that there is a need to magnify and upscale the local food production capacity and this is one key element that the ministry will explore together with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform,” Iipumbu said.

She also said reemphasised that Namibia has ratified the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which is an engine for economic growth and industrialisation for sustainable development on the continent.

“The AfCFTA is envisaged to promote continental integration which will make Africa competitive by promoting productivity and enhancing competitiveness and value chains. Furthermore, the benefits would accrue to the producers, processors, exporters, importers, consumers and indeed the national economy overall. The private sector is a key stakeholder and beneficiary of the AfCFTA because businesses move goods and services and invest in-and-across borders.

“As part of the implementation process, Namibia is in the process of developing a National AfCFTA Implementation Strategy and Action Plan.

The national strategy will enable us to identify key value addition and trade opportunities and the attendant constraints of optimally benefiting from the AfCFTA.

The strategy will provide the private sector with important entry points into the regional markets as well as alert the state to the required support to stakeholders,” concluded Iipumbu.