Empowering SME’s vital to boost competitiveness

A thriving private sector is a precondition for economic growth and development.

19 February 2021 | Economics

School products are crowded out of the market and we often buy cheap low-quality imports, it should thus be discontinued. Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Prime Minister

PHILLEPUS UUSIKU

Empowering Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) which are regarded as the back bone of the economy is of critical importance if Namibia wishes to compete and remain relevant regionally.

The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) conducted a strategic planning session to craft a strategic plan that will steer the direction of the organization in the next 5 years.

The strategic session involved the participation of various sector association leaders, academic institutions, members from the various branches of NCCI and individual business personalities.

They provided input to critical advocacy issues that the Chamber should drive with government to address the challenges facing the business community and improve the Namibian business landscape.

Newly appointed president of NCCI Bisey Uirab, held a media briefing yesterday to provide insight into key issues raised by the business sector and outcomes of this landmark session that guided the working session of the board in crafting the Strategic plan of the organization.

In an interview with Market Watch, Uirab said there is a need to strengthen relationships as well as coodination between the head office and its branches.

Furthermore, there is an urgent need to work closely with the government. “We have committed to create to a formal structure to engage the government at the high, branch and town level,” he said.

Thirdly, he said close collaboration among various business associations in the country is of critical important.

SME’s

Prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila in her speech at the strategic session said, NCCI is an important stakeholder in the Namibian economy as it brings together the corporate sector.

The private sector should harness the opportunities of information technology (IT) to provide innovative solutions for service delivery and optimise opportunities for investment.

This will increase local production so as to grow their businesses to support economic recovery, she said.

Government seeks to promote SME’s development and economic inclusiveness. She encouraged the private sector to make use of the support provided through government policies.

In doing so, the formal sector companies are urged to support SME’s by providing a space on their shelves for the product of SME’s in providing financing in mentorship.

“The current practice of side-lining local produce in preference for imports has the effect of exporting jobs, draining our foreign reserves in undermining the development of local industry.

School products are crowded out of the market and we often buy cheap low-quality imports, it should thus be discontinued,” she stressed.

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