Investment Climate Has Improved – NCCI, NMA Says

THE Namibia Business and Investment Climate Survey (namBIC) results indicate that businesses’ rating of the investment climate in 2014 improved in most areas except for access to land compared to 2013.

The survey is based on 597 responses from businesses.

The results of the index were released in Windhoek yesterday in a report by the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) and the Namibia Manufacturing Association (NMA).

Businesses are upbeat about the general economic environment with a majority (84%) intending to invest and hire more people in 2014 albeit at a measured pace compared to the previous year.

The report said 70 percent of the respondents are operating at or close to full capacity and need to invest or hire more people, the report said.

“The upbeat outlook held by many is broadly in accord with Namibia’s microeconomic environment with an expansionary fiscal and accommodative monetary policy stance, low interest and inflation,” the report said.

The NCCI and NMA said compared with the results in 2013, they found a similar contradiction that although the majority of businesses share an optimistic economic outlook, that optimism is not reflected in their investment plans.

The report said as Namibia enters a new period geared towards a global market, local companies are not adjusting to the increasing international rate.

As for their intentions to invest in 2014, 84% of the respondents reported to have planned to invest.

The NCCI and NMA said land remains a significant obstacle to business expansions and. The report said 47,5% of the respondents indicate they require additional land for their operations.

“However, even more significant is that over 80% of the respondents who say they require additional land, said it was difficult to acquire.

The report said in terms of border procedures, most challenges are experienced at the South African, Angolan and Botswana borders.

Those who pay taxes are generally satisfied with the Receiver of Revenue and rate the payment process at 70,9%.

“On an interesting note, although 53,1% of the respondents paying taxes say the rates are very high,” the report said.

Some of the major constraints cited were the cost of land and access to land.

The NCCI and NMA said investments must not be undermined by bureaucratic red tape or excessive tax burdens.

“It is important that private sector representative bodies adopt as key positions in their aocacy effeorts,” the report said.

The NCCI and NMA said although the respondents’ views on whether the allocation of public tenders is supportive of the development, businesses are divided. Half of them rate the ease of participating in tenders as difficult.

Source : The Namibian