“It is up to Namibians to boost the Namibian market” – Team Namibia
Completing the circle between local products, profits and jobs, Team Namibia made another urgent appeal this week to all consumers to buy local regardless of the price. This also applies to government and local authority procurement.
Bärbel Kirchner, Account Director of Team Namibia said: “Authorities should support Namibian businesses, whether we are talking about the supply of locally manufactured uniforms, construction services, or local food and beverages. Namibia has also professional printing services, IT services, marketing, advertising and research services, as well as training services and of course this is not limited to that”.
Team Namibia acknowledges the constraints of the small local market, in particular the lack of economies of scale, but pointed out that supporting imported products and services only worsens the position of many local businesses.
“While recognising the need to maintain a balance between protecting or opening up a market, it is critical that one considers the opportunity costs for all, if local producers, manufacturers and suppliers are supported,” she emphasised.
“It’s important that Namibians have an understanding of the main reason why local products and services are sometimes more expensive. In case, where Namibia is not price-competitive, it often can be attributed to high input costs, but also mostly to the disadvantage of operating in a minute market, as well as unfair practices by foreign competitors.”
“ The need for the support of all players in our economy – from the consumer to the procurer of public and private sector entities – therefore remains critical. Special protective measures by the government are also needed, to support respective Namibian industries to compete on a level playing field and to survive.”
“Supporting our own businesses means that Namibia can further build her own capacities and become economically sustainable, ensure food security, create employment, industrialise and address poverty.”
“It is up to Namibians to boost the Namibian market. Buying locally does not mean walling off the outside world; it means nurturing locally-owned businesses which employ local workers and becoming more self-sufficient as a country. The power to have cheaper Namibian products is in the hands of Namibians,” concluded Kirchner.