Schlettwein concurs with report
“This is a road-map with concrete meaning in improving the business climate in Namibia. Although larger investment for low ranking countries is a resource based investment perception,” Schlettwein said commenting on Namibia’s World Economic Forum ranking which he identified as one component in attracting investment. “Resource endowment is a stronger attraction for going into an economy although we need to step up our ranking by the WEF,” he added.
Schlettwein said that the reform agenda for improving business climate is “pretty hard” although his ministry is reviewing the Small and Medium Enterprise Policy which in his opinion is outdated. “Link larger companies with SME’s instead of placing them in silos for a competitive value chain in creating more jobs and meeting 2030 targets,”he said. Schlettwein alluded to the fact that the private sector is profitable and a major creator of jobs and wealth although dialogue is not enough. “Dialogue with Private sector should be on creating employment Policy implementation is important,” he explained. “Just getting policy right is important. We land in a them and us situation in blaming private sector. Joint action from both is needed as this can influence business climate significantly,” he added. A single window system has been approved by Cabinet currently in implementation phase in easing the way for foreign investors. While a performance management and monitoring system and agreement for all civil servants is in place.
Commenting on the procurement bill that was withdrawn he said that some members of cabinet felt that there was too much future administrative burden on the Tender Board with too many committees and felt that it could be streamlined without lessening transparency. The minister jokingly said that when cabinet meets the red carpet is rolled out while with business investors the red tape is brought forth. On the issue of land reform Schlettwein said that a one size fits all application is not proper with industrial land should be handled differently. “Create fora where private sectors are part of SADC talks by consistently adding Private sector consultant to our talks.”
Government has recently held stakeholder workshops by incorporating each other in service delivery without fighting for turf with the outcome to be shared with Cabinet. On regional integration, Schlettwein said his ministry is embracing a regional model of policy space by not only relying on primary industry.