GOBABIS, 18 JUN – Government will continue supporting feasible local enterprise at macro-economic level in efforts to ensure their sustainability, Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein has said.
He made this commitment here on Friday, at the opening of an Agribank branch, a media statement issued by his office on Monday stated.
Schlettwein explained that over the years, Government has put financial sector policies and mechanisms in place which ensured that the country’s productive capacities are indeed supported through the locally-generated capital.
While the majority of these funds are prudently invested elsewhere, Government has equally ensured that a part is available for re-investment into the economy and rendering returns.
“These funds, for example, have seen small and medium enterprises and the mining and energy sectors grow during trying economic times, and continue to do so. Other sectors like manufacturing, trade and the logistics sector equally benefited from our country’s strong financial sector,” the minister stressed.
Schlettwein pointed out that the country does not need to rely on imports for all its products, especially those that can be sourced locally, but local enterprise need funds to carry out their activities.
“We don’t need to solely import the tomato paste which is needed in our fishing industry to prepare preserves; the larger amount should actually be sourced locally. Or even more pertinent for the Omaheke region; our cattle don’t need to leave Namibia as weaners on hoof, but should be grown to maturity for value addition in-country in such a manner that more value is realised.”
He said Agribank serves the agricultural producer, regardless whether such producer is running a production system on communal farmland, on a resettlement farm or on commercial farmland.
He noted that Gobabis, apart from being an important agricultural centre and specifically a livestock production centre, has become an important hub of intra-Southern Africa Customs Union and Southern African Development Community trade and logistics.
“The recent upgrading of roads to bitumen standard, Gobabis has once more gained in importance. Cargo from or to Angola, northern Botswana or Zambia and Zimbabwe can now easily reach Johannesburg and Gaborone,” Schlettwein said.