Manufacture locally to drive the economy
By Hilton Loring
CEO Elso Holdings
It cannot have escaped anyone’s attention that Namibia is facing substantial economic headwinds. A recession if you will. This economic downturn has been widely reported on by economists, politicians, business owners and the general public.
Whatever the reason, the impact on the economy has been extensive. Investments delayed, construction halted, retrenchments and the tightening of belts, all visible results of the recession.
The economy does not operate in a vacuum and we are dependent on our larger neighbor South Africa when it comes to the health of our economy. However, there is something much more immediate which impacts our economy and which needs to be addressed.
The limited manufacturing activities in Namibia, by local companies places undue strain on our economy. Using our own nation’s resources, using our own people and selling to our own consumers would give a tremendous shot in the arm to our economy and makes sense.
Both the Hon.e Minster of Finance, Dr. Calle Schlettwein and Dr. John Steytler, the Economic Advisor to the President have called on private companies to do their part. Manufacturing locally stimulates job growth and employment. It keep precious resources, investments and money within our borders. Which is essential for an economy to grow and develop.
As CEO of Elso Holdings, a local company that has been manufacturing and selling cleaning products for the last 62 years right here, I see the positive impact that local manufacturing can have. From simply offering direct and indirect local employment opportunities, to buying from other local suppliers, the business and for want of a better word; ‘the wealth’ is spread locally. Buying raw materials and packaging locally ensures our manufacturing chain is as Namibian as possible. This is essential for any local economy to prosper and grow.
That is why we are heeding the Minister of Finance’s call. Upgrading and improving our manufacturing facility so that we as a local company can assist in getting the economy back on its feet. It also means strengthening our relationships with all our local customers right here. The products manufactured locally need to be available to the consumers and businesses here.
Continuous engagement and developing our strategic partnerships with our clients is key to our overall strategy. This will in turn strengthen the economy and stimulate job creation. Engaging and pursuing local contracts becomes essential, and it gives a platform for the products to be sold locally and contribute the economy.
This why local manufacturing is vital for the economy. If we as an organisation can reach and implement our strategic goals and vision and expand, in turn we can play a part in helping the economy grow.