BIPA gearing up
The ministry recently established an internal unit, the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) which will aim to provide entrepreneurs a one stop shop service, bringing under one roof all the various elements necessary to register a business with ease.
Business and Intellectual Property Authority, Chief Executive Officer Tileinge Andima shed light on the development of the authority and said that plans to create an organisational structure were taking shape. He currently oversees 26 temporary employees who are working on an electronic filling system.
Under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Business and Intellectual Property Authority will function as a centre piece for the registration, administration and protection of businesses, commercial and industrial properties rights (IPRs), further complementing the role of the Registrar of Companies within the ministry.
Reducing the current 66 days it takes to register a business could see a rise in rankings by the Global Competitiveness Index by 45 places to shadow Mauritius within three years.
A smooth regulatory and administrative environment has been identified as one of the areas of improvement should Namibia reach the World Economic Forum target as set in the fourth National Development Plan.
The Business and Intellectual Property Authority is also aiming to improve service delivery and ensure effective administration of business and intellectual property rights registration. A monitoring, performance management system is already in place requiring civil servants to sign a performance management agreement.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Calle Schlettwein said that government was re-evaluating its Small Medium Enterprise policy which he said was outdated. Schlettwein highlighted the need for Small Medium Enterprises to be evaluated in a more comprehensive manner.
“The sector is risk averse, one that makes it difficult for Small Medium Enterprises and start-ups. [The] Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) is more risk averse than commercial banks leading to no impact were needed the most,” Schlettwein remarked on the risk appetite of funding institutions.
Schlettwein cited cases in which proposals denied by the development bank were accepted by other banks.
Andima said that the business authority body will spur regional development with the Business and Intellectual Property Authority expected to be in full operation by early next year. Legislative framework for the Business and Intellectual Property Authority is not in place yet. The authority currently runs as a non profit organisation under Section 21 of the Companies Act.