NCCI shouts hurray

24 June 2020 | Business

The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) welcomed the decision by government to move to Stage 4 of lockdown next week.
“It is with great relief that can welcome the start of our society’s reopening,” says NCCI president Sven Thieme. “As we take our first steps along the road to economic recovery, we should be immensely grateful for governments’ efforts and particularly of all those who continue to work so hard to minimise the impact of this disease on our society.”
He said that creating the right balance between supporting the economy and livelihoods while also protecting public health, is no easy task.
According to Thieme, due to continued restrictions over the past months, Namibia’s economy was weakening by the day – a situation that is not viable for a small economy like Namibia. That is why the NCCI is grateful that government has met the demands of the business community to relax more restrictions to allow for the reopening of more business activities.
However, Thieme cautions that for the business community the coming stage is the beginning of the most difficult period yet. “Our challenge over the coming months will be to make the reawakening of our economy a success. The business community will need support in a way that it has never needed before as it struggles with circumstances that none of us could have planned for.”
He says that the NCCI’s concern remains that stimulus measures will require more improvement. “Measures, such as increased market access in terms of procurement opportunities for local businesses and improvement of regulatory conditions will need to continue, too. We have seen in many other economies that even as businesses reopen, they do so with much lower volumes of trade. Therefore, more supportive measures critical for certain sectors should be provided if they are to be able to make this reawakening of the economy a success,” Thieme says.
According to Thieme, the NCCI has cautioned throughout the crisis that reopening the economy will not be as straightforward as shutting it down. “Businesses have suffered immense economic damage over the past three months. They will require as much financial support in this stage as they did during the lockdown. If this support does not materialise, we risk permanently losing jobs, and job creators, over the coming months. This will further compound the damage to the economy and restrict our ability to recover quickly.

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