Minister says access to land and high cost of land remains a constraint to development and growth of businesses in Namibia

WINDHOEK: Trade and Industry Minister Calle Schlettwein says access to land and the high cost of land, including for business purposes, remains a constraint to the development and growth of businesses in Namibia.

Schlettwein said this in a statement he delivered at the launch of a report titled Easing the Way for Investment in Namibia by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) on Friday.

Schlettwein said a related problem is the time and cost involved in registering property, adding that this is one of the constraints identified in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business Report’.

He noted that in order to reduce the burden, especially on small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and to attract targeted investments in manufacturing, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has embarked upon a deliberate measure to acquire land in strategic areas across the country for servicing and development into modular business units for SME operators and factories and industrial parks for manufacturing purposes.

Schlettwein said Namibia is a signatory to the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) agreement of 2002 and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Trade Protocol and Free Trade Area, which regional integration processes provide access to a larger market for goods and services from Namibia.