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Improving the Business Environment in Namibia

April 2019

30 April 2019


Graham Hopwood & Frederico Links


Briefing paper

This briefing paper examines what needs to be done to improve the business and investment climate in Namibia. The paper, funded by the British High Commission, updates a previous IPPR publication from 2014 on the same issue – see here:

Namibia has been sliding down the global business rankings. As of 2019, Namibia was placed 100th on the latest World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness rankings and 107th on the World Bank Doing Business index. Over the past five years Namibia has declined precipitously on several of the World Bank’s specific rankings for the ease of doing business, including the time it takes to start a business, dealing with construction permits, and resolving insolvency. Government has identified appropriate remedial actions but has been slow to implement them. However, recent reforms and actions taken by both the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development and the Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) have set the stage for some of these longstanding issues to be resolved. The paper points to ways in which Namibia’s competitive advantages can be complemented by specific reforms and improvements – which should see Namibia moving back up the various business rankings and, more importantly, boosting productive investment.