!Gawaxab engages private sector on economic recovery
The Bank of Namibia Governor Johannes !Gawaxab, on Thursday, hosted an economic roundtable with Chairpersons of Board of Directors and CEOs of private sector companies to discuss relevant policies to find practical means of rallying support towards securing a sustainable economic recovery.
The coordinated approach is expected to yield a robust response to the anaemic economic growth experienced since 2016, and which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his address to business leaders, the Governor shared the economic outlook of the Bank, which forecast that the Namibian economy shall recover gradually by 2,6% during 2021. This is predicated by the opening up of the global economy, after the lockdowns and restrictions on travel experienced in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this regard, demand for Namibia’s exports (especially minerals) is expected to start picking up gradually in 2021 as major economies are projected to make full recoveries, which bodes well for the recovery of the domestic economy.
While growth is expected to pick-up, the forecasted levels fall far short of the boom observed in years prior to 2016 and will therefore not be adequate to fulfil developmental aspirations and make a dent on unemployment, poverty and inequality.
Enumerating the challenge of reviving the economy, !Gawaxab said the most critical element that can be relied upon to help grow the Namibian economy is investments, both domestic and foreign direct investments.
“Therefore, concerted effort both from the public and private sector is needed to unlock the country’s investment potential,” he said.
The roundtable discussed means of enhancing domestic investments in the country and how best to adapt the policy environment so that businesses are able to invest more or explore new opportunities within the economy.
The discussion reached a consensus that Namibia should pursue an aggressive economic turn-around strategy to enhance growth and income outcomes.
This discussion will inform continuous efforts by the central bank to find practical and home-grown solutions to the structural challenges besetting the economy.