NCCI takes investment drive to the US

Business lobby group, the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), says investment missions to other countries remains key in attracting investment to Namibia.
This comes as the business grouping revealed that 16 of its members accompanied President Hage Geingob to the United States of America, where he is promoting the country and its investment opportunities.
“Most missions are organised as part of our country’s efforts towards attracting foreign direct investment into our economy, and we have succeeded to market Namibia through such missions.
“We have also succeeded to provide opportunities to our members to source products required in their businesses and to increase exports,” NCCI Manager: Member Services and Company Secretary, Charity Mwiya, told the Windhoek Observer.
She said she was unsure of how many members had spurned the offer to take part in the US trip, with senior company executives mainly making up the NCCI delegation.
“Well, we don’t know how many turned down the offer, because they received invitations from the presidency directly. But what is clear is that there was a significant response from senior business executives, who accepted the invitation, and they are adding a lot of value to the mission,” Mwiya said.
Quizzed on the interest of the organisation’s members in partaking in the missions, as well as on the benefits of taking part, Mwiya said the interests of members vary.
“They are influenced by the expectations of individual members from specific missions. But we only organise missions where there is demonstrated interest from our members to take part. And participation is completely voluntary and at members’ own cost. So far, the response has been good.
“Our members do not necessarily travel on these missions to look for investment opportunities outside, but to seek business partners that can add value to their business. In most cases, they travel with specific projects, which they are promoting and seeking suitable investment partners for.”
She said the NCCI doesn’t have any trips lined up for the remainder of the year, with business delegations having already travelled to Finland in May and Japan in June.
“We have not planned any other mission during the remainder of this year. However, we will offer opportunities to our members whenever they arise. It’s up to members to decide if they want to participate or not,” Mwiya said.
“This year, we were involved in the organisation of investment promotion missions to Japan (in partnership with the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, the Namibian Embassy in Japan and the JETRO-Japan External Organisation), in Finland (together with the Walvis Bay Corridor Group, the trade ministry and the Namibian Embassy in Finland) and in the USA. We also provided support to the government for the recent mission to China.”
Mwiya said last year, the NCCI led seven successful investment missions, without giving details of the deals sealed.
“The NCCI organised seven successful business exploratory and investment missions to Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Republic of Congo, South Africa, the USA, India and the United Kingdom, during 2015. The missions to Zambia, the DRC and South Africa were organised specifically at the request of our members, and we simply obliged after we determined the interest in such missions,” Mwiya said.
“The missions to the USA, UK and India were organised at the request of the presidency to accompany the Head of State on his official visits to those countries. The mission to the Republic of Congo was organised following a request by the government of Congo to our government and the NCCI, to participate at their international investment conference. We then asked those among our members, who were interested in exploring business opportunities in Congo to take part, and they did.”
NCCI Chief Executive Officer, Tarah Shaanika, and its President Sven Thieme formed part of the US delegation.