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MTI calls for more investment into research

The Ministry of Trade and Industry last week called for private sector as well as the public sector to invest into research and development. Speaking at the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) National Council meeting which was held to discuss Namibia’s Competitive Agenda 2020 strategy Minister of Trade and Industry Hon. Calle Schlettwein said the investment into research and development by private companies and the public sector is very low. “Without innovation and harnessing new technology, Namibia will simply be unable to keep up with the rest of the world and develop at the speed set by the modern global community,” said Schlettwein. He said that Namibia’s financial sector remains risk averse due to the fact that we are a nation of traders instead of a nation of innovators and producers. “We have more franchises than manufacturing activities, mainly due to our close relation to the dominant South African Economy. We however ought to find our own niche in the regional and global economy sooner rather than later”.

Schlettwein said that this can only be achieved through a close partnership between the public and private sector. “We as the government commit to supporting our private sector, our entrepreneurs, from small street vendors to large manufacturers. We also devote resources to developing our human capital, creating the conditions necessary for acquiring quality education, from primary school all the to postgraduate school, carrying out innovation and research, transferring specialist skills and expertise. We a are also devoted to building a utilities sector with affordable and accessible services.
Which we also require from the private sector,” he added. NCCI National Council: President Sven Thieme, reiterated the importance of the public and private sectors working together to improve the economy, “making Namibia competitive is a collective responsibility which we must all embrace. It is not only policy and legislative reforms which will make us the most competitive economy but also a significant shift in attitudes and the quality of service delivery in all sectors”. The Competitive Agenda 2020, is a five year plan aimed at improving our economy’s competitiveness and make this country the most competitive economy in Africa and the best country to do business in on the African continent by the year 2020.

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