Iipumbu emphasises SEZ Bill’s importance for economic growth

The Minister of Industrialisation and Trade, Lucia Iipumbu, has emphasised the importance of ensuring that the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Bill is fit for purpose and guarantees that an avenue for value addition is created to generate jobs. According to the minister, the establishment of SEZ can significantly boost industrialisation, enhance export capabilities, and stimulate economic growth, especially as Namibia readies itself to participate fully in the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Adopted in August 2022, the SEZ Policy includes a provision for both fiscal and non-fiscal investment incentives for various investment categories such as exporters and manufacturers. Iipumbu, who was speaking at stakeholder consultations on the drafting of the SEZ policy, national informal economy, startups and entrepreneurship development policy in Walvis Bay on Monday, noted that these legislations are key in shaping the economic dimension of Namibia which can ultimately result in significant growth and de velopment of the country. 'Firstly, SEZs have over the years proven to be a catalyst for economic transformation around the globe, which is done through creating specific areas with favourable business conditions and incentives advanced by government, in order to boost and attract both domestic and foreign investments, foster innovation, and generate employment opportunities,' the minister said. It is for this reason that the ministry embarked on a journey to tailor the SEZ concept to Namibia's unique needs and aspirations in order to eventually have it as a law to replace the Economic Processing Zone (EPZ) regime, which has thus far brought about various challenges. Erongo hosts 3 981 business establishments, of which 3 286 were characterised as micro establishments, 453 as small establishments and 195 as medium establishments respectively. Governor Neville Andre Itope said that only 47 establishments in the region constitute large establishments. 'Therefore, it becomes important that our engagements ar e focused on advancing these businesses, to help them grow by creating a conducive and enabling legislation, operational environment that will eventually stimulate optimal growth and investment of these and future prospective ones,' he added. Source: The Namibia Press Agency