Mining survey: Chamber hits back

04 March 2021 | Business

PHILLEPUS UUSIKU



Too few responses have skewed Namibia's performance on the 2020 Fraser Institute Survey of Mining Companies, tarnishing its image as an attractive investment destination.

The survey only asked between five and nine responses from Namibia, which is not representative of the whole mining industry, the Chamber of Mines in Namibia said in a statement.

Fraser's report, released last week, showed that Namibia only marginally increased its score on the overall Investment Attractiveness Index (IAI) and that several other jurisdictions performed far better.

The drastic decline on the Policy Perception Index (PPI) by 12.92 points led to Namibia's poor performance on the Investment Attractiveness Index. Namibia was the only African jurisdiction that did not improve on this particular index.

Namibia thus dropped 33 places globally on its PPI score, and fell from first place in 2019 to fifth position in 2020 on the African continent.

“This is most concerning given that investors regard other jurisdictions as having more stable and favourable policy frameworks in comparison to Namibia,” the chief executive officer of the chamber, Veston Malango said.

CHALLENGES

According to Malango, investors expressed concerns over the availability of skills, regulatory duplication and inconsistencies, as well as infrastructure. Challenges with value added tax (VAT) registrations and input VAT refunds for exploration companies were also cited as hurting Namibia's competitiveness.

“These issues dampened the major positive outcome with government's pronouncement during 2020 on the complete withdrawal of the non-deductibility tax proposal from the Income Tax Amendment Bill of 2018,” Malango said.

He pointed out that the survey solicited only between five and nine responses from Namibia.

“Had a higher number of responses been received, the chamber holds the view that Namibia would have received higher scores on the overall Investment Attractiveness Index and the Policy Perception Index as a result of revoking the non-deductibility tax proposal,” he added.

The chamber remains committed to working with government to ensure all outstanding policy obstacles are resolved, and that Namibia once again become the most attractive investment destination in Africa, a feat that was achieved in the 2014 Fraser Report, Malango said.

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