Billions worth of vehicles went through Namibia

The National Automotive Assembly Development Policy Framework aims to develop a fully-fledged automotive assembly industry that can produce and assemble vehicles in Namibia.

31 March 2021 | Economics

Namibia is a net importer of automotive and automotive parts and is consistently in the top three of South Africa’s vehicle export destinations in Africa. Michael Humavindu, deputy executive: Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade

Since 2014, roughly N$6 to 7 billion worth of vehicles were either exported to Namibia or went through Namibia from South Africa.

According to Michael Humavindu, deputy executive at the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade, this shows how important Namibia is in terms of a market for vehicles as well as an ideal geographical location for trade due to its proximity to international markets.

Humavindu said this on Friday during the launch of the National Automotive Assembly Development Policy Framework (NAADPF), which aims to develop a fully-fledged automotive assembly industry that can both produce and assemble vehicles in Namibia.

The framework will promote the exportation of locally produced or assembled motor vehicles and encourages both domestic and foreign direct investment in the automotive assembling and components manufacturing sector.

Humavindu said the automotive sector has been identified as key for the structural transformation of the economy as it has immense potential in terms of ensuring backward and forward linkages as well as job creation and skills development.

Assembling

He said at the moment, Namibia on average sells about 20 000 vehicle per year, but does little automotive assembling or manufacturing except for the Peugeot-Opel Assembly Namibia (POAN) plant at Walvis Bay which assembles passenger vehicles and the Windhoeker Maschinenfabrik, which designs and manufactures military and agricultural vehicles.

“Namibia is a net importer of automotive and automotive parts and is consistently in the top three of South Africa’s vehicle export destinations in Africa,” he said, adding that the launched framework thus looks at developing the sector locally so that Namibia moves from being an importer to assembling, manufacturing and exporting.

Minister of Industrialisation and Trade, Lucia Iipumbu in her keynote address, said the government recognises the importance of developing a fully-fledged automotive assembly industry in order to optimise the contribution to the gross domestic product, employment creation, technology transfer, value addition, fostering of backward and forward linkages and notably, the immersion of micro, small and medium enterprises.

“Optimal policy development is therefore vital to ensure the promotion of such a strategic sector in the country’s industrialisation ambitions. Namibia currently has a promising motor assembly sector, while the sector policy development is benign and not fully optimised,” she said. - Nampa

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