07 Oktober 2021 | Wirtschaft

Attract investment to unlock Namibia’s potential

Namibia recorded a trade deficit to the tune of N$2.9 billion worse off when compared to a trade deficit of N$1.4 billion recorded in August 2020.

We believe Namibia will run a trade deficit for the rest of 2021. Theo Klein. Economist. Simonis Storm

PHILLEPUS UUSIKU

The value of exports decreased by 6.2% year-on-year in August 2021 to N$7.1 billion and the value of imports increased by 12.1% year-on-year in August 2021 to N$10.0 billion, statistics released by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) indicated.

On a monthly basis, Namibia gained about N$2.1 billion in export earnings in August 2021, as the value exports stood at N$5 billion in July 2021. Imports increased by 18.5% to N$10 billion when compare N$8.4 billion recorded in July 2021.

Given these developments, Namibia recorded a trade deficit to the tune of N$2.9 billion indicating an improvement when compared to the deficit of N$3.5 billion recorded in July 2021 but worse off when compared to a trade deficit of N$1.4 billion recorded in August 2020.

The biggest negative contributors to exports were wood and charcoal, plastics, Live animals and Fish. Fish exports were mainly sold to Spain, the DRC and Zambia and plastics were mainly sent to Zambia and the DRC.

On the positive side, uranium had N$0 worth of exports in the previous month, but recorded exports to the value of N$395 million in August 2021, which was sold only to China. Other positive contributors include alcoholic beverages, stone, sand and gravel and pearls and precious stones, NSA said.

Investment

According to Theo Klein, economist at Simonis Storm, the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB), together with the Harvard University’s Growth Lab, has identified 97 products whose production will be targeted in terms of increased production from existing private sector players and to enhance productivity gains. On the other hand, foreign investors will be approached to kickstart new projects in these product markets as well. The production of these products are estimated to have positive spill over benefits to other industries of the economy.

The 97 products include five main themes, namely chemicals and basic materials, food (horticulture, diary), machinery and electronics, metals, mining and adjacent industries and transportation and logistics (vehicles, vehicle parts), Klein pointed out.

The above developments are encouraging and much needed, given that commodities dominate our export product mix, he said.

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