Namibia vulnerable to external economic factors: Schlettwein

Minister of finance, Calle Schlettwein has said, Namibia is a small open economy, small in size of the population and size of the economy.

Schlettwein who was speaking during the Swapo Party star rally here on Saturday said the openness of the Namibian economy makes the country vulnerable to external factors. The minister was referring to events that happen elsewhere in the region and in the world which Namibia as a country has little or no influence.

Examples of such external factors that are currently causing headwinds for our economy are low commodity prices, trade wars between the major powers of the world causing reduced trade economic downturns in neighbouring countries, climate change and resultant droughts. Schlettwein said.

The minister noted that this negative factors has had significant negative impacts on the county's economy.

Our export values shrunk, our trade balance became negative, our earnings from international trade reduced and our currency weakened. He explained.

Schlettwein further said inspite of the negative external factors, Namibia maintained macro-economic stability. He highlighted that Namibia has established a number of social safety nets where they were absent and improved even during even during the economic downturn.

According to Schlettwein, the country's transport infrastructure is rated the best on the continent.

We have been consistently in the top five on the continent with regard to business climate and dynamism. Corruption index and competitiveness and our democracy is stable and peace in prevailing. He added.

Finance minister acclaimed the country saying Namibia's state budget is self-funded and the nation maintained fiscal sovereignty with only 4 per cent of the state's expenditure being funded through borrowing while 96 per cent is covered by the country's own income.

Our financial sector is one of the best in the continent and globally, with well capitalized banking and pension fund institutions, hosting significant domestic savings and having the capacity to finance economic development locally and in a prudent manner. Schlettwein concluded.

Source: Namibia Press Agency