Local manufactures working hard to make ends meet
Imported products are giving local manufacturers a run for their money as these products are not only cheaper, but also more easily accessible unlike locally produced products.
Tamweer Akram, general manager of Fatima Plastics, said that it is challenging to operate within the manufacturing industry.
He said it was especially tough when the business first started its operations in 2004 as it relies on imported raw materials from afar, for production to take place. Despite this setback, the business has grown.
Akram said that one of their biggest competitors is Chinese imported plastic products which are sold at a very cheap price.
He suggested that the government bans or increase import tariff barriers in order to protect the local manufacturers.
Akram added that there is a lack of technical skills in the manufacturing industry and that his business faces a further challenge as it has to import its materials from as far as Pakistan and Indonesia, which takes a long time to arrive.
In order to address the skills shortage, Fatima Plastics introduced training programmes within the workplace.
Akram suggested that provision should be made for manufacturers in terms of special rates for water and electricity as they have proven costly. He also said that government should take action for title deeds based on priority and increase tariff barriers.
Meanwhile, Polyoak Packaging Namibia, which supplies plastic containers and has a market share of about 70 %, is not affected by the infiltration of Chinese products as the business has its loyal clients, said Polyoak’s general manager, Jan Dames.
“Manufacturers should attempt to do their best, and be proud of being fully Namibian producers, supplying locally produced products for the Namibian economy,” Dames said.
He added that Polyoak’s biggest challenge is to manufacture and supply a product that is better in comparison to imported goods.
Polyoak Packaging Namibia is not registered with the Namibian Standards Institution, but is however, registered with the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) and ISO 9002 for quality checking and supports Team Namibia in their efforts.
Both Polyoak Packaging and Fatima Plastics’ main export country is the Angolan market.