THE Namibian Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Hage Geingob, has invited business people from Dubai to explore the various sectors of the Namibian economy with a view to investing in the country that he described as the ?Boutique Country? due to its small population, yet distinct quality of goods and services on offer.
Leading a Namibian business delegation, Dr Geingob told participants at the start of the Namibia Week at a Business Expo taking place in Dubai, that it was a country worth investing in, because of its wide open spaces and good infrastructure.
He said that Namibia, with a population of 2,1 million people, is strategically placed between the big economies of South Africa and Angola as well as other land locked countries, and is therefore suited as a hub for all these countries. He added that Namibia?s membership to the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) provides access to a combined larger lucrative and a competitive regional market of some 300-million inhabitants.
?The fact that Namibia was able to attract various Heads of State from as far as Russia, China and Brazil, including Queen Elizabeth II and a Vice President of the United of States of America to visit, says a lot about the country,? he said.
He added that Namibia was endowed with rich natural resources such as diamonds, copper, gold and uranium. Dr. Geingob announced that the country?s Foreign Investment Act is currently being reviewed in order to respond to the changing economic realities.
?We thought it appropriate to branch out to successful countries such Dubai, in order to tell the story of Namibia, a country whose Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been growing steadily, not too low and not too high, but has seen 4 to 5% average growth since independence. However, that is not enough and we need about 7% growth for our GDP, as determined by SADC.?
He said Namibia was rated as the 2nd most preferred African country to live in, after Mauritius, due to its prevailing peace, good infrastructure, health and education facilities, as well as the protection of investors.
Presentations on Namibia?s economic sectors were made by amongst others, Tarah Shaniika, Chief Executive Officer of the Namibian Chamber of Commerce (NCCI), Digu !Naobeb, Chief Executive Officer of the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB), and Bisey Uirab, Chief Executive Officer of Namport.
The Namibian business delegation held one-on-one networking sessions with their counterparts in Dubai. The Namibian delegation also held meetings with top representatives of Emirates Airlines at their headquarters, to indicate Namibia?s interest in becoming an Emirates passenger- and cargo destination, especially the transportation of perishable produce such as dates and grapes from Namibia to Dubai.
The delegation also visited Dubai World Central, an integrated logistics hub, which amongst others is set to become the world?s largest passenger and cargo hub, with an annual capacity of 120 million passengers and more than 12million tons of cargo.