WINDHOEK-The Namibian Government through the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade, in collaboration with the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the Africa Trade Policy Centre, and the United Nations System in Namibia, convened a meeting to validate Namibia’s National Trade Policy.
The Draft National Trade Policy outlines policy measures and strategies that will enable trade in both goods and services to prosper and anchor sustainable economic growth and development of Namibia. Trade in services has become the most dynamic part of global trade in recent years and an option for export diversification in developing countries, including Namibia. Services are important for Namibia’s development as an input into the production of goods, and an avenue for export diversification, and therefore a potent contributor to inclusive growth, employment creation and poverty reduction.
The validation workshop held on 27 March 2023 in Windhoek provided Namibian stakeholders with an opportunity to review and validate the draft national trade policy prepared with the technical support of ECA. The review focused on ensuring that the policy adequately addressed the aspirations of all Namibians in as far as both domestic and international trade in goods and services are concerned.
Opening the meeting, MIT’s Deputy Executive Director for International Trade and Commerce, Ms. Ndiitah Nghipondoka-Robiati, Deputy Executive Director, Namibia’s Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade applauded ECA for the immense contribution towards the Draft Namibia Trade Policy.
“We are encouraged to note the interest of our stakeholders to unpack issues outlined in the draft policy and recommendations that were made to improve it. It is refreshing to see all of you here – experts from the government, parastatals, the national statistical office, representatives of the financial sector, academia and other partners to ensure the finalisation of the National Trade Policy for Namibia” she said.
“The implementation of the Trade Policy is contributing towards the country’s achievement of Sustainable Development Goals including Goal No. 17 – to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development” she emphasised.
Nghipondoka-Robiati lauded the consultants for the significant efforts and consultations they made into the development of the Draft Trade Policy.
On her part, Chief of Inclusive Industrialisation in ECA Sub-Regional Office Southern Africa, Ms. Olayinka Bandele, underscored the importance of Namibia’s National Trade Policy which seeks among others to consolidate existing markets for Namibian products, while at the same time pushing for new and enhanced market access to take advantage of the benefits of trade as the engine for sustainable economic growth and development”
Bandele said that “the policy seeks to promote economic diversification, create employment opportunities, increase competitiveness and enhance the country’s participation in regional and international trade leading to reduced poverty through targeted citizen participation in trade activities”.
She emphasised that “Trade policies are key in facilitating the flow of goods and services between a country and its trading partners as well as in the domestic market. Consequently, trade is a critical driver of economic growth and development, job creation and can drive improvement in the competitiveness of local industries”.
Conclusively, Ms. Bandele reiterated ECA and the United Nations System commitment to supporting Namibia in its ambitions to implement the policy and achieve national aspirations.
The validation meeting was attended by representatives from the government, drawn mainly from the Ministries responsible for Industry and Commerce, Agriculture, Mining, Energy, Lands, academia, experts from Government parastatals, National Planning Commission, National Statistical Agency, representatives of the financial sector, and women business organizations, youths, the United Nations family in Namibia and ECA.