Namibian business community have raised concern on the influx of foreign competitors in the South West African State saying they will take up the issue to the government for redress.
The businessmen are concerned with foreigners dominating business in Namibia and thus met for the second time at Ongwediva on Sunday to discuss the matter before taking up the issue with Government.
They want President Hikefupunye Pohamba’s government to protect them against what they termed, undermining of businesses of indigenous people by foreigners, especially from China, India and Germany.
This, they said, is a result of the policy of free-market system that the Government has introduced since the country’s independence.
However, the community is not completely opposed to their foreign competitors’ investment in the Namibian economy, but only want restrictions on certain business areas where the natives are not performing.
They strongly opposed that foreigners compete with the locals in retailing, even at village levels in the rural areas.
” It is unfair for us to compete with people that are financially backed by bigger companies in their respective countries of origin.
” They should be restricted to manufacturing and wholesale business ventures,” the concerned group charged,” the business community said.
They singled out the Chinese and Indians as the culprits in the opening of small retailing businesses in villages, while Germans are allegedly competing with locals in buying land for commercial purposes.
They claimed that some business personalities of foreign origin have even managed to acquire title deeds to own land at some Namibian business centres such at Oshikango, where portions of land are declared ‘China Town’.
The concerned group has thus decided to approach the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) to take up their concern with the relevant higher authorities as a matter of urgency.
The NCCI, according to the group, is well aware of the issue since 2004.
“We will be forced to take up the issue with the Government or with our country’s President if the NCCI once again fail to respond positively to our concern,” said Vaino Kamati, who chaired last Sunday’s meeting.
Another prominent businessman, Epafras Mukwiilongo said: “It is high time that indigenous business owners stop watching their businesses closing down because of uncontrolled foreign-owned business ventures without taking any action.”