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Government supports trade fairs

Trade fairs, exhibitions and expositions are platforms where business networks and relationships are created between customers, producers and suppliers.
These initiative brings Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), big corporates and investors to one place where they share ideas, network, and enter into business deals that can lead to the creation and development of new enterprises, job opportunities and poverty alleviation in our communities.
According to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. Calle Schlettwein, the Government regard events such as these to be very important in the developmental agenda of the country because they contribute to the upliftment of the socio-economic development of surrounding communities and the country at large.
He was officiating on behalf of His Excellency President Hifikepunye Pohamba at the opening of the 9th Helao Nafidi Annual Business Expo 2013 on Wednesday.
“Our Government continues to render full support to this event and to similar initiatives that are aimed at promoting economic, trade and commercial activities in our country. This initiative is evident at the Oshikango Border Area where Government, with the assistance from the EU funded the development and management of industrial infrastructure of the EPZ Park to host and accommodate companies that engage in light manufacturing and re-export trade to Angola,” he said.
Schlettwein said, various settlements grouped under Helao Nafidi Town Council have benefited significantly from cross-border trade with Angola. This has in turn created job opportunities, increased service provision, generation of foreign currency earnings and revenue to the State from increased cross-border trade. It has also heightened the establishment and proclamation of the Helao Nafidi Town, which is today one of the fastest growing towns in Namibia in terms of socio-economic growth.
“Our Government is committed to promoting these local economic activities and initiatives geared towards achieving economic growth, job creation, accelerating business development and growth as well as entrepreneurial development in our economy,” he said.
“Our Government is equally convinced that SMEs are important sources of sustainable employment creation and are, therefore, crucial to the success of an enterprise economy, hence its commitment to the development of the SME sector,” added the trade minister.
The first Helao Nafidi Business Expo took place in 2005 at an open space in Oshikango. The main objective of this event is to showcase products and services produced by the Helao Nafidi community, as well as those from other parts of the country. Speaking at the launch of the Expo last week, Finance Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said this   2013 financial year, the Government allocated 100-million dollars as a subsidy to towns and villages for local service deliveries and infrastructural development.
She said the Town Council has a potential of becoming a regional commercial business centre if supported financially and  that the Government expected to spend over 35-million dollars at the town.  over the MTEF period. This year’s expo is being held under the theme “Promoting Local Economy” and is under the patronage of the northern business tycoon Ben Hauwanga of the BH Group of companies. The Expo runs until 03 November.

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