Industrialisation Ministry committed tofinalising new Investment Act: Iipumbu

Staff Writer

MINISTER of Industrialisation and Trade (MIT), Lucia Iipumbu says the Ministry is aware of the need to expedite the process of finalising the new Investment Act, which is intended to shore up and revitalise the country’s investment regulatory and policy regime by embracing a modern and transparent legal framework that accommodates new economic dynamics.

The new Investment Act is also expected to accommodate new developments to ensure that Namibia leverages on dimensions that cover new economic and investment priority areas.

Iipumbu said this at a recent Investment Promotion stakeholder meeting which she said was crucial for critical engage on the Namibia Investment Promotion and Facilitation Bill (NIPFB).

“This platform provide inputs, which allow us to finalise this important process to ease unlocking and attracting investments and promoting trade and investment opportunities for our country. We are further saying that the new NIPFB must be inclusive in terms of both local and international investments. MIT has been working around the clock to finalise the new Investment Act, which is currently undergoing final consultative engagements.

“We are therefore committed to finalise this process to ensure that Namibia addresses the policy gap when it comes to the investment environment to avoid investors’ uncertainty. Although global investment levels have experienced a downturn and exacerbated further by the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing geopolitical matters around the globe, the Namibia economy has been severely affected along with many countries,” she said.

According to the minister, the country’s fall – back position remains the outdated Foreign Investment Act (FIA), which she said does not embraces newer investments dynamics such as innovation and sustainable investment.

“This old legislation therefore will not support viable initiatives that foster the adoption of the fourth Industrial Revolution driven investments nor will it adequately enhance new policy developments around Special Economic Zones which aims to ensure that Namibia can attract investments.

“The new investment policy regime will therefore enhance a conducive business environment in Namibia to fully leverage on new investment strategies pertaining to renewable energies, resuscitate the economy within an updated investment legislative and policy framework comprehensively. This will enable a viable institutional framework to support policy ambitions through the policy desk at the Ministry and Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) whilst fostering the required investor friendly infrastructures,” she said.

MIT tabled the draft Investment Bill in the National Assembly in November 2021 but had to withdraw it following several calls for further consultations.

“We constituted a Technical Committee comprising of Senior Officials from key public institutions to consider the concerns raised on the Bill, and thereafter, present appropriate amendments and recommendations to Cabinet for endorsement. The committee deliberated on the areas that led to the withdrawal of the Bill and details on this process will be outlined by the officials during presentations through the Ministry,” she said.

Iipumbu said correspondences were received from business associations to speed up the process and finalise the bill.

“Final consultations are therefore being held with all stakeholders as directed by the combined CCTED and CCT. Suffice to say that, the Ministry has thus far conducted stakeholders engagements in all 14 regions before going back to Cabinet and Parliament respectively.

“Namibia’s Policy and Legal Framework for Investment confine itself within the presiding global policy space whilst ensuring adherence to the national agenda embedded in various policies and development frameworks. Further, the development of the NIPFB through a consultative process is aimed to ensure that it is fit for purpose for our national developmental trajectory. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that it is aligned to our national objectives of stimulating industrialisation, structural transformation of the economy, and the attraction of both sustainable FDI and Domestic Direct Investment (DDI). I would therefore like encourage you all to engage robustly and constructively while providing relevant inputs which may assist us to refine this Bill and have it finalised to ease investments in our country,” she said.

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