NCCI welcomes move to stage 4

Due to continued restrictions over the past months, the economy of our country was getting weak day by day, which was not viable for a small economy like Namibia.

26 June 2020 | Business

We urge the government to call on the business sector to work with them in finding innovative ways to support different sectors of our economy. Thieme Sven: President NCCI

Phillepus Uusiku

The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) has welcomed and applauded the decision by the government as announced by president Hage Geingob that the country will move to Stage 4 on 30 June 2020.

NCCI president Sven Thieme says, “it is with great relief that we can welcome the start of our society’s reopening, in the wake of this unprecedented economic lockdown.”

“As we take our first steps along the road to economic recovery, we should be immensely grateful for the efforts by government and particularly of all those who continue to work so hard to minimise the impact of this disease on our society”, he added.

“Getting the balance right between supporting the economy and livelihoods, while also protecting public health, is no easy task. The responsibility of government in making these decisions is an unenviable one”, he says.

According to Thieme, due to continued restrictions over the past months, the economy of our country was getting weak day by day, which was not viable for a small economy like Namibia.

He said the NCCI is grateful that government has met the demand of the business community for relaxing more on restrictions to allow for reopening of more business activities.

This would help revive business activities and allow the business sector to play its role in reducing the miseries of jobless labour by providing them opportunities of daily earnings.

Challenges

Thieme however cautions that for the business community, this stage will be the beginning of the most difficult period yet.

“Our challenge over the coming months will be to make the reawakening of our economy a success. The business community will need support in a way that it has never needed before as it struggles with circumstances that none of us could have planned for”, he says.

Our concern remains that stimulus measures will require more improvement. Measures, such as increased market access in terms of procurement opportunities for local businesses, improvement of regulatory conditions will need to continue too.

We have seen in many other economies that even as businesses reopen, they do so with much lower volumes of trade, he pointed out.

Therefore, more supportive measures critical for certain sectors should be provided if they are to be able to make this reawakening of the economy a success, says the NCCI president.

Support

According to Thieme, the NCCI has cautioned throughout the crisis that reopening the economy will not be as straightforward as shutting it down. Businesses have suffered immense economic damage over the past three months.

They will require as much financial support in this stage as they did during the lockdown. If this support does not materialise, we risk permanently losing jobs, and job creators, over the coming months.

The NCCI opines that the resumption of business, particularly in the construction and infrastructure industries and tourism, will play an important role in kick-starting the economy and getting people back into work as the economy moves into the recovery phase of the Covid-19 crisis.

The NCCI president has also cautioned that it is also the responsibility of businesses to take all required precautionary measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 and strengthen government’s efforts in combating this deadly virus.

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