Walmart ruling beneficial
The Namibian Manufacturers Association(NMA) says it is happy with the ruling by the Minister of Trade and Industry forcing Walmart to establish a domestic supplier development programme.
Giving conditions for the Walmart/Massmart merger, Trade and Industry Minister Hage Geingob recently ruled out that the merged entity shall consult with him with regard to the establishment of a programme of activities for domestic supplier development which the merged entity shall implement within a year of the date of the determination.
Responding to an enquiry from the Namibia Economist, Hennie Fourie, CEO of the NMA said this week that his organisation was happy with the Minister’s ruling as it will provide a lot of benefits to local manufacturers. He said the establishment of a programme of activities for domestic supplier development will be to the advantage of local manufacturers, as it will assist smaller manufacturers to adapt their production methods to meet the demand of large international retailers in terms of quality and consistency of supply, among other benefits.
Fourie added that such a programme should also be extended to all the major retailers, especially the regional chain stores. In addition, he said that government should promote the sale of locally manufactured products which comply with required standards, by all retailers, international, regional and local. Many retailers do not stock any Namibian manufactured products in their shops.
Fourie was confident that members from his association will not have problems producing products of international quality standards consistent with Walmart’s high standards. He said: “Many of our manufacturers are ISO certified and already have the capacity to deliver products of international quality standards consistent with Walmart’s high standards.”
In approving the Walmart/Massmart merger, Geingob said the domestic supplier development programme shall be implemented to improve the competitiveness of domestic suppliers. Activities in the programme shall include skills development, technical support and assistance in relation to: production capacity, technology and inputs; meeting national and international quality standards; marketing and distribution.
The programme is experted to prioritise small undertakings, in particular undertakings owned or controlled by historically disadvantaged persons.