The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) plans to host a bigger and better annual Swakopmund International Trade Expo (SWAITEX), next month in the coastal town.
In its 7th year, this year’s expo will be held under the theme: Promoting Intra-Regional Trade and Economic Integration. The event will focus on discussions of new ideas to stimulate the domestic economy and contribute to its recovery.
“The country has been experiencing immense socio-economic challenges and this has only added to our resolve to create opportunities for private sector business and drive discussions around constraints of growth in specific sectors. We must deepen and strengthen our regional trade relations. The country must foster in a new economic era that is both sustainable and beneficial to the business sector, government and our communities,” NCCI CEO, Charity Mwiya said.
Helena Mootseng, Manager of Public and Corporate Affairs at the Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC), one of the sponsors of the expo said the company was confident economic value for business and the country would be derived from the event.
“Our highest and ultimate objective on all platforms that we participate in, is always how do we propel Namibia forward in that space. Whatever the platform is, the ultimate objective, as always, is how do we propel Namibia forward. How do we make Namibia shine at her brightest? So, when we seek out platforms, where we can assist, support, or be part of or get involved, we always try to see if there an opportunity for us to add value.
“In this instance, there is an opportunity to add value towards not just the event, but the value to the purpose and the ethos of the event. We are trying to create a platform where businesses can interact, share intelligence, network with those outside the country, and unlock opportunities.
“We are talking about the opportunities that are there for them. We think that is a space where we can add value. The pinnacle of what we do is assigning value; we value diamonds. Value addition is not something new to us. We can see in this space that there is something we can do to help Namibia move forward.”
Mootseng said for the country to overcome its current economic challenges, it requires greater participation by all.
“It’s no secret that we are going through challenging times economically as a country. But, these challenges cannot drown us. They create an opportunity for us to become creative in problem-solving. They create an opportunity for us to unite in our approaches, and to agree on the outcomes that we seek. If the outcome that we need is to move Namibia forward. We all have a part to play in that. We can't fold our hands and sit on the sidelines and be critical about it. We have to roll up our sleeves and say where we will get involved,” she said.
“Ultimately, the rewards of what we do as a collective is not for an individual or organization, but the entire country. And at the heart of everything that we do at NDTC is the love of our country and that is what wakes us up in the morning to go and do what we do.”
British High Commission to Namibia Global Trade Programme Advisor Stacey Pinto said its collaboration with the expo was mainly driven by the networking opportunities presented by the gathering, which will bring together local and international business.
“SWAITEX for us is a platform that allowed us to trade better. Platforms like this create the perfect place for businesses to meet, to mingle to share ideas, contributing towards the creation of sustainable businesses,” she said.
“Former UK Prime Minister Theresa May was in South Africa a few years ago and spoke about the reach of funding to help businesses build capacity. She spoke about sharing information on how to package businesses to be sellable to the international markets. And so, one of the programs that we're proud to have launched is the global trade program, which looks at working with businesses to help them build that scalability and expertise. With these skills they can speak that international language. It underscores what NCCI wants to do. Adding that international element is crucial.”
SWAITEX was founded in 2013 by the NCCI Swakopmund Branch under the leadership of Heinrich Hafeni.