Arusha, Tanzania — MININGREVIEW.COM — 06 May 2008 – Namibia expects substantial increases foreign direct investment over the next two years, with mining playing a major role as an attraction for foreign investors.
Revealing this to Reuters during a conference here, Namibian Investment Centre deputy project director Freddie Gaoseb said: “our projections show a 10% rise in investment this year, and a further 10% increase in 2009.” He pointed out that the desert nation’s foreign direct investment had picked up after a sharp fall in 2006, when it dropped to US$2.5 billion (R19 billion) from US$4 billion (above R30 billion) a year before.
Speaking on the sidelines of a China-Africa business meeting in northern Tanzania, Gaoseb was quoted by Reuters as saying that the mining sector – long a major source of foreign direct investment – would continue to attract investments to the country’s gold, diamond, uranium and copper deposits. In addition, Namibia was trying to develop its diamond industry beyond extraction.
“We have been attracting investors from places like Israel, India and Belgium into the diamond cutting and polishing industry. What we are trying to do is to attract more value-addition for our local resources,” he added.
He warned, however, that the country faced challenges such as a lack of credit for local businesses and a shortage of skilled labour.
The Namibian economy relies heavily on minerals such as gold, diamonds and lately uranium, as well as tourism, beef production and financial services.