Improving the bottom line of any manufacturing undertaking in Namibia by the correct support from Government through incentives will ultimately improve the national economy to create more jobs for Namibians.
The investment of nearly$93 million dollars in the upgrade of the salt processing plant of Walvis Bay Salt Holdings improved the beneficiation of this Namibian product almost three fold which gives the company a stronger foothold on the international market.
The Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development, Tjekero Tweya, officiated at the inauguration of the new plant and said the development is in line with the ‘Growth at Home Strategy’ that aims to export more Namibian products to international markets.
“The operation of this new plant is in full swing and we, as Namibians, must support all Namibian initiatives, because this is the right thing to do,” he said.
Tweya said with the aid of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement and the strategic understanding of the Preferential Trade Agreement must deliver strategic outcomes for the free movement of Namibian people, goods and services over African borders to record increased trade statistics contributing higher returns to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
The trade minister’s official address during the inauguration ceremony reads as follows:
Trade is the most critical and most integral political and business bond that brings about development and economic prosperity.
Namibia provides for an open and transparent environment for business to work towards a globally competitive business environment focusing on industrialisation, food-self sustainability, skills development and an excellent system of governance.
Namibia is uniquely located at the Atlantic Ocean, making us an excellent location for an industrial hub to access the 1.3 billion African market facilitated by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement which is at the doorstep of Namibia to penetrate and extract maximum returns from increased Intra-African trade and trade with big economies such as the United States, China, the European Union and other markets.
On Wednesday, 19 th February 2020, the Namibian Government, through Meatco exported its first consignment of beef to the United States market and Namibia proudly remains the first and only African country with export agreements for our beef to China’s 1.4 Billion people and the 330 million American markets. And we maintain that Namibia produces the best beef in the world, without a doubt.
Today, we have assembled here this morning to witness another breakthrough organisation in Walvis Bay Salt Holdings to celebrate the success of its White Gold of the Namib. Walvis Bay Salt Holdings is an evolving business that continues to grow its capacity with breakthrough initiatives in the most sustainable and ecological processes.
Walvis Bay Salt Holdings discarded its old plant built in 1986 to a brand new plant having two lines with minimum loses of 8% compared to the single line of the old plant that registered losses up to 20%.
The company improved efficiencies in its world class operation with plenty of room for improvement. The company has over the past 50 years increased its footprint into the international markets with exports to West and East Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and North American markets through Philadelphia, amongst others.
It is an undisputed fact that we all acknowledge the importance of salt in any food product and the crucial role it plays in health management of, not only humans, but importantly for fauna and flora, especially for farmers who greatly make use of salt blocks for cattle.
The Walvis Bay Salt Holdings produces its salt from the Atlantic Ocean and I told you earlier that Namibia is located at the Atlantic Ocean and this is what we attest in the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development through our Growth at Home Strategy that we should increasingly export our raw and final products to the international world. And Walvis Bay Salt Holdings adheres 100% to what we, in Government, encourage the private sector should do.
Exporting a home-grown product from the Atlantic Ocean, through solar evaporation; our salt, amongst other Namibian products, such as beef, minerals, vegetable products, grapes, beer, dates, live animals and products obtained from live animals, forest products, fish and other marine products, amongst others must increase more and more, not only in quantity, but very importantly in top quality products.
With the looming African Continental Free Trade Agreement at our doorstep, the strategic understanding of the Preferential Trade Agreement must deliver strategic outcomes for the free movement of Namibian people, goods and services between African borders to record increased trade statistics contributing higher returns to our Gross Domestic Product.
The acclaimed genius, Albert Einstein, defined insanity “as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”.
I can safely say the Walvis Bay Salt Holdings, without a doubt, wants to see strategic outcomes because this business constantly explores new opportunities for organisational development to enter into smart partnerships for increased value-addition and to improve the bottom line that will ultimately improve our economy to create more jobs for Namibians.
Walvis Bay Salt Holdings supports the initiatives of the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development to transform Namibia into an industrialised economy.
I am therefore happy to see the Namibia Manufacturing Association [NMA] in our midst and the NMA, is therefore, the coordinator of all Namibian manufacturing companies.
Walvis Bay Salt Holdings, believe me or not, is a highly respected brand in the mining sector and because it manufactures world-class salt products, which is exported all around the world with excellent opportunities to enter new markets such as Brazil for instance, it contributes, without a doubt to the Namibian economy.
Walvis Bay Salt Holdings is, therefore, a trusted company with all intensions to enhance local value addition in support of the Government’s Growth at Home strategy. They produce salt for the chemical sector and general purposes as well as state-of-the-art table salt for the 330 million SADC market.
These are the strategic initiatives that will create jobs for our people to reduce unemployment levels. I am aware that in the forefront of this manufacturing development are 200 Namibians who are direct beneficiaries of dedicated job opportunities who are all contributing to the Fiscus through tax obligations.
In closure, the Namibian Government, through the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development and the Ministry of Mines and Energy remain committed to support local investors such as Walvis Bay Salt Holdings to contribute in helping other Namibians to grow and inject freshness in the Namibian economy.
We have a collective duty to expedite any effort of industrialisation, trade and small-and-medium enterprise development with speed of execution across all sectors of the economy to extract maximum returns in favour of the GDP.
Earlier this morning, I had the privilege to be taken through a tour of the new production plant at which event we have cut the ribbon symbolising the official launch of the new plant.
The operation of this new plant is in full swing and we, as Namibians, must support all Namibian initiatives, because this is the right thing to do.