EditorialThe Ministry of Trade and Industry is responsible for the development and management of Namibia’s economic regulatory regime, on the basis of which the country’s domestic and external economic relations are conducted. It is also responsible for promoting growth and development of the economy through the formulation and implementation of appropriate policies to attract investment, increase trade, and develop and expand the country’s industrial base.
The Ministry’s efforts are directed at four key activities:
Promotion of manufacturing activity
Growth and diversification of Namibia’s exports and export markets
Promotion of growth and development of small and medium sized enterprises
Recognising the critical role of the private sector as the engine of economic growth, the Ministry of Trade and Industry strives to facilitate development of this sector through the creation of a business-friendly environment and stimulation of private-sector investment. Its work in this regard includes the formulation of appropriate legislative instruments and institutions for the effective provision of industrial infrastructure, enterprise development, export and investment promotion, export services and facilities.
The four main divisions of the Ministry are the Namibia Investment Centre, the Directorate of Industrial Development, and the Department of Trade and Commerce comprising the Directorate of International Trade and the Directorate of Commerce.
Namibia Investment Centre
The Namibia Investment Centre (NIC) is the country’s official investment promotion agency and first port of call for investors. Created under the Foreign Investment Act of 1990, the overall objective of the NIC is to attract foreign
investment to stimulate economic growth and expedite industrial transformation in Namibia. The attainment of this objective will undoubtedly contribute to the noble goals of Vision 2030.
The responsibility of creating policies and strategies conducive to investment lies with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, specifically with the Namibia Investment Centre.
The NIC offers a variety of services to existing and potential investors, including the provision of information on incentives, investment opportunities and the country’s regulatory regime. It is closely linked to key ministries and service bodies, and can therefore help minimise bureaucratic obstacles to project implementation. The NIC works closely with the Offshore Development Company (ODC), the flagship of Namibia’s tax-free export processing zone regime, to promote foreign direct investment in export-oriented manufacturing activities.
The NIC has overseas investment promotion representatives in strategic locations in countries such as Germany (Berlin), India (New Delhi), South Africa (Pretoria), USA (Washington), and representative offices in Mauritius (Port Louis) and Brazil. Plans are underway to set up commercial offices in other identified locations of economic importance elsewhere in the world.
Namibia has a competitive incentive and fiscal regime complemented by a low cost and conducive business environment that adds to its appeal as the most ideal location for domestic and foreign investors. The cornerstones of this environment are the Foreign Investment Act and its provision for a Certificate of Status Investment, the special incentives for manufacturers and exporters, and the export processing zone incentives.
The Foreign Investment Act, which is currently being revised, determines the parameters within which foreign investors can operate in Namibia. Its chief objective is to maximise foreign direct investment in the most cost-competitive manner and with a minimum of bureaucratic hiccups.
The Act provides for:
Liberal foreign investment conditions
Equal treatment of foreign and local investors
Openness of all sectors of the economy to foreign investment
No local participation requirement
Full protection of investments
Granting of the Certificate of Status of Investment (CSI)
Incentives for manufacturers/exporters
These incentives are for entrepreneurs whose main target market is the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). To benefit from the scheme, an investor must register with the Ministry of Finance as a manufacturer or an exporter of manufactured goods. The Namibian Investment Centre assists investors with this registration process. Namibian-based entrepreneurs who export their products outside this market are also entitled to benefits under the scheme. Manufacturers receive greater benefits than those who export foreign-made finished goods.
The Executive Director
Tel +264 61 283 7335
Fax +264 61 22 0278
The Directorate of Industrial Development is responsible for evaluating and appraising industrial projects. It sponsors feasibility studies, research and surveys of potential development areas and renders support and advice to potential developers and investors. The Directorate is also engaged in the production of industrial statistics, and conducts regular censuses of the manufacturing sector. It furthermore collates information on appropriate industrial technology. The Directorate oversees and co-ordinates the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
This includes input into the six areas that comprise Government’s SME development programme, namely:
Facilitation of access to finance
Construction of sites and premises
Purchasing of raw materials
The Directorate’s primary role is to facilitate:
Diversification of the economy through accelerated growth of the country’s
Increased value-added manufacturing activities
Stimulation of export-oriented production
Creation of productive employment opportunities and increased income
opportunities for Namibians, especially those from previously disadvantaged
Improvement in the geographical distribution of industrial activities and
Ongoing research into the manufacturing sector to identify new areas for
expansion and potential bottlenecks
The Directorate also coordinates the work of the Ministry’s six regional offices. These are situated in Katima Mulilo, Keetmanshoop, Opuwo, Ondangwa, Otjiwarongo and Rundu, and serve as advisory centres at local level.
The Director (Acting)
Tel +264 61 283 7328
Fax +264 61 25 9676
Department of Trade and Commerce
The Department of Trade and Commerce is responsible for national policies and programmes geared towards the management, regulation, promotion, development and facilitation of internal trade, commercial and business activities and international trade activities such as bilateral, regional and multilateral trade relations.
The Department consists of two directorates, namely the Directorate of
International Trade and the Directorate of Commerce.
Tel +264 61 283 7333
Fax +264 61 22 022
Directorate of International Trade
The Directorate of International Trade is the national focal point of Namibia’s trade and external trade relations. Its main activities are geared towards the formulation and management of Namibia’s foreign-trade policy, and towards increasing the country’s exports through trade promotion.The Directorate oversees Namibia’s
membership of regional and international trade bodies, assists and facilitates the participation of Namibian companies in trade fairs, exhibitions and trade missions, coordinates import and export procedures, and provides information on trade-related issues.
The Directorate performs the following functions:
Formulating and analysing trade policy
Serving as a focal point for Namibia’s bilateral and multilateral trade
relations, such as with the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Southern African
Community (SADC), the African, Caribbean and Pacific European Union (ACP-EU), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU)
Formulating and implementing Namibia’s export promotion and market
development policy and strategies
Providing trade-related information and support to the business community
Importing and exporting management
Tel +264 61 283 7291
Fax +264 61 25 3865
Directorate of Commerce
The Directorate facilitates and contributes to the creation of a commercial
environment conducive to the effective functioning of the domestic market and trading environment.
Develops the policy and legal framework for the management of quality, standards, company registration, intellectual property rights, traditional knowledge an market regulations
Acts as the national competent authority for fish and fisheries products exported to the world market
As a national competent authority, provides efficient services for industries
Contributes to the overall government effort of effective revenue collection
Develops and adapts Namibian standards in accordance with international standards
Disseminates information on standards
Sells international standards to the Namibian industry
Tel +264 61 283 7262
Fax +264 61 22 2576
Offshore Development Company (ODC) (Pty) Ltd
The ODC was established in 1996, following the promulgation of the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) Act (Act No 9 of 1995).
The Government of Namibia adopted the EPZ regime as a legal framework for promoting export-led industrialisation of the national economy, highly driven by the primary sector.
As a policy instrument, the regime is intended to:
Facilitate imports of foreign productive capital and technology and the transfer of technical skills to the local workforce
Promote the diversification of the local economy
Increase the share contribution of the manufacturing sector to job creation and the country’s gross domestic product (GDP)
Core functions of the ODC are:
Promoting and marketing the EPZ as a competitively attractive incentive regime and industrial policy for encouraging investment in export-oriented manufacturing operations
Screening applications and facilitating admission of qualifying investors under the EPZ
Managing and monitoring the performance of the EPZ enterprises and the programme in general
Advising the Minister responsible on the performance and any constraints to the effective development of the programme in Namibia
The ODC provides the following investor services:
Information on investment opportunities under the EPZ and in the country in general
Information on the incentives offered by Government through the EPZ and other similar investment-incentive regimes
Evaluation and recommendation of qualifying applications for EPZ status to the EPZ Committee and the Minister of Trade and Industry for approval
Provision of affordable factory shells or warehouses at established industrial parks
Facilitation of linkages between investors and relevant central, regional and local government authorities and other service providers for the provision of basic services required for the establishment of businesses
Matchmaking and joint-venture facilitation between local and foreign investors
After-care services to investors and periodic surveys to determine investor satisfaction
Expediting issuance of work permits to approved EPZ investors in collaboration with the Namibia Investment Centre
Export processing zone incentives and bonded warehousing
The EPZ incentives are designed to give both foreign investors and Namibian-based entrepreneurs a competitive advantage when investing in export-oriented manufacturing or value-addition activities. The local and foreign investors who meet the conditions for admission under the EPZ enjoy equal treatment and eligibility to the applicable EPZ incentives, such as zero corporate tax and
exemptions from duties and VAT on imported productive machinery and inputs.
Applications for registration of an EPZ status are facilitated by the ODC and the Walvis Bay EPZ Management Company.
The ODC has constructed and manages export-oriented business parks that are leased principally to exporters. These are at Oshikango and Katwitwi on the northern and north-eastern Angolan-Namibian borders respectively. There is also a multi-purpose industrial park at Katima Mulilo in the north-east of the country, close to the borders with Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
The Chief Executive Officer
Private Bag 13397
Tel + 264 61 283 7360
Fax + 264 61 23 1001
Namibian Standards Institution
The Namibian Standards Institution (NSI) was established in 2007 in terms of the Standards Institution Act (Act No 18 of 2005). Its main responsibility is to enhance pro-duct quality, industrial efficiency and productivity in Namibia by:
Promoting the use of standards and quality control in industry, commerce and the public sector
Providing conformity assessment services and product certification and testing
The Chief Executive Officer
Tel + 264 61 38 6400
Fax + 264 61 38 6454
Namibian Competition Commission
The Commission was established in terms of the Competition Act (Act No 2 of 2003). It is tasked with promoting competitive market conditions through investigation and prosecution of anti-competitive activities, reviewing and approving mergers and acquisition applications, and disseminating information to businesses, consumers and other stakeholders on competition matters.
Namibia’s competition law covers the three major competition concerns, which are anti-competitive agreements, abuse of dominance, and anti-competitive mergers. It takes into account public interest provisions for protecting consumers by safeguarding competitive prices and product choices, and by promoting employment and advancing the social and economic welfare of Namibians. It also promotes special needs of the economy, such as the protection and promotion of small undertakings and the promotion of a greater spread of ownership among historically disadvantaged persons.
P O Box 2104
Tel +264 61 22 4622
Fax +264 61 40 1900
Namibia Estate Agents Board (NEAB)
The Namibia Estate Agents Board (NEAB) was established pursuant to the provisions of the Estate Agents Act (Act No 112 of 1976) with the mandate to regulate and control certain activities of estate agents in the public interest.
The underlying aims of the Board are to:
Protect consumers in estate agency transactions with due regard to the interests of the industry
Maintain and promote standards of conduct in the industry
Regulate the activities of estate agents in general
The Manager Namibia Estate Agents Board
P O Box 90091
Tel +264 61 24 9885
Fax +264 61 23 4709
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