WINDHOEK, 17 JUN – The private sector should come on board and assist the government in re-balancing Namibia’s economic growth from consumption-driven to an investment-led economy, Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein requested.
Speaking at an event hosted by Old Mutual on Friday evening, Schlettwein explained the role the private sector is expected to play in transforming the economy.
He said on its part, Government has resolved to realign the national budget by aligning resources away from operational non-priorities to investment on infrastructure and growth enablers.
The minister added that to achieve the desired objectives, it would require institutional leadership in the public and private sector.
“The private sector, particularly the financial sector should play a vital role towards an investment-led growth through channelling investment into productive assets of our economy,” said Schlettwein.
To this effect, Government enacted the Public Private Partnership (PPP) law to facilitate private investment.
“The PPP legislation is enacted and we are in the process of operationalising the PPP committee, while regulations are at an advanced stage of formalisation,” explained the minister.
At present, several PPP projects are under consideration such as the development of a water desalination plant, co-location of dialysis facilities and the paediatric intensive care unit in the health sector.
Other efforts by the government to unlock productive assets include reforms in public enterprises.
State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) reforms seek to elevate the role of SOEs in the economy by providing affordable and reliable services.
The hybrid governance model for SOEs, spearheaded by Public Enterprises Minster Leon Jooste is envisaged whereby enterprises will be categorised according to their roles in the economy.
“Most importantly, we have to unlock productive assets and leverage these to fund priority investments in the economy,” added Schlettwein.
He continued: “Such unlocking of underutilised assets would provide opportunities for investment where local capital can be best utilised.”
He then thanked Old Mutual Investment Group Namibia for its continued partnership with local authorities and public institutions to meet their funding needs since 2000.
The funding includes corporate lending transactions to fund transport infrastructure for local authorities, preference share funding transactions for SOEs and PPP transactions for land servicing.
“This is a commendable example of the role the private sector can play in re-balancing growth path from consumption-driven to investment-led growth,” Schlettwein noted.