Government called to undertake trade reforms to optimize the gains from the AfCFTA – NCCI
The government has been called by the country’s business chamber to undertake trade reforms and take steps to optimize the gains from the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) President Bisey Uirab highlighted this during a National Corporate Forum held Monday for corporate executives and industry leaders to guide the Chamber’s advocacy agenda and support the implementation of its activities.
“Given our small domestic market, global connectivity is equally essential for the growth of our businesses, hence government needs to proactively strengthen the regional economic integration by undertaking comprehensive reviews of existing trade agreements, improving trade facilitation, building strategies for digital commerce and looking at ways of building collective strategies to promote regional commodities,” he said.
According to Uirab, innovation is key to business survival.
“Whilst providing opportunities for businesses, we must think about the new waves of opportunities and our ability to survive future shocks. In this regard, new markets for Namibian-made products and services, diversification of our economic base, with a strong focus on sustainability and digitalization, is critical,” he said.
He added that the government has come forward to provide vital support to help businesses in the past two years.
“Economic recovery however is uneven across various sectors, and we implore our government to continue to extend assistance in a targeted manner,” he said.
Meanwhile, Uirab said the revival of the economy following years of a recession and global pandemic has been placed on the shoulders of the private sector.
“We must use this moment to revive our economy by adopting more public-private partnerships, a model that is capable of building an inclusive economy, thus protecting the marginalized by creating jobs across the country,” he concluded.
Last year in November, Namibia’s government in collaboration with the Economic Commission for Africa and the United Nations System in Namibia officially launched the country’s National Strategy and Implementation Plan for the Agreement Establishing the AfCFTA for the period 2022-2027.
The agreement is set to provide an opportunity for Namibia to increase its intra-African exports and enhance the country’s export-led manufacturing and services capabilities.