Doing business in Namibia
Occupying an area of 824,268 km, the Republic of Namibia enjoys one of Africa’s most pleasant, peaceful and politically stables environments. Its infrastructure rivals that in many developed countries, with existing and potential trading partners linked by road, rail, air or ship with neighboring South Africa, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and by ship and air with the rest of the world.
Namibia’s membership of the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) enables duty-and quote-free access to markets in Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland. As one of the 14 SADC member states \Namibia has preferential trade links to the 190 million inhabitants of the Southern African sub-region. Namibia is also a signatory to the Trade and Development Agreement (also known as the Cotonou Agreement) between African, Caribbean and Pacific countries and the European Union. This agreement provides duty-free access to European Union markets for a wide range of manufactured goods and agricultural products. It also has duty-and quota-free access to the lucrative markets in the United States of America market under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The Act is a US trade initiative and an opportunity to foster development in Africa.
Namibia has a highly competitive incentive and fiscal regime, which not only adds its attractiveness for foreign investors, but also creates an ideal business environment. The cornerstones of this regime are the Foreign Investment Act (1990) and its provision for, amongst other things, a Certificate of Status of Investment, special incentives for manufacturers and exporters, and the Export Processing Zone Incentives. The Foreign Investment Act led to the creation of the Namibian Investment Centre within the Ministry of Trade and Industry. The Centre is designed to facilitate the process of investment in the country.
The Act further provides for:
- Liberal foreign investment conditions
- The equal treatment of foreign and local investors
- Openness of all sectors of the economy to foreign investment
- Full protection of investments, and
- The granting of a Certificate of Status of Investment.
The tax and non-tax incentive regimes designed for manufacturers and exporters give the competitive edge to Namibian-based entrepreneurs who invest in manufacturing and export trades. These incentives are accessible to both existing and new manufacturers. Manufacturing activities in all sectors can benefit from these incentive measures, including local value-added processing of Namibian minerals, fish and agricultural products, which are currently exported largely in raw form.