More Export Diversification Needed to Create Jobs

There is an urgent need to diversify Namibian exports to the country’s main trading partner, the European Union (EU), particularly in relation to value-added goods, which would boost local job creation.

This was part of the message yesterday by the President of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun, who told the Head of the EU Delegation to Namibia, Ambassador Rauacutel Fuentes Milani, and other European delegates that Namibia should be exporting more manufactured goods to the EU. “This will encourage local manufacturing in the Namibian economy and will result in the Namibian economy becoming more globally competitive,” said Namundjebo-Tilahun during the start of a roundtable discussion under the theme “EU-Namibia: Trade and Investment for Job Creation and Development”.

The discussion also included presentations by some Namibian companies with g EU ties, such as Ohorongo Cement, Roumlssing Uranium, Cadilu Fishing, Total Namibia and MTC.

The aim of the presentations was to showcase successful investment experiences of selected European companies operating in Namibia. The presentations highlighted opportunities and challenges faced by these companies when investing in Namibia. “This roundtable discussion will hopefully strengthen trade between the EU and Namibia to increase trade volumes, particularly in terms of value-added goods, which will assist the alleviation of unemployment and strengthen the Namibian economy,” remarked Namundjebo-Tilahun.

The EU has been Namibia’s main development partner since independence, accounting for about 17 percent of all developmental aid since 1990. In terms of trade between the two entities, the EU accounts for roughly 31 percent of Namibia’s international commerce, placing it ahead of neighbouring South Africa as well as China and the United States of America.

The European Commission intends to shortly issue a communication on the role of the private sector in and for development. The main policy orientation for this communication will come from the EU’s ‘Agenda for Change’, which stresses the need to develop new ways to engage with the private sector to leverage private sector activity and resources to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth.

The EU says it remains an important partner of governments and business intermediary organizations in developing countries for creating an enabling business environment and competitive local private sector equipped to create jobs and harness the opportunities offered by global markets.

“One of the difficult challenges many economies face, including Namibia, is relatively high rates of economic growth, but low number of jobs being created, whilst inequality is increasing. Further engagements by all parties are needed to facilitate improving the situation.” said Ambassador Fuentes Milani.

Source : New Era