Miss Universe beckons tourists.
In an effort to reduce unemployment and attract foreign investors, the newly re-elected Government is establishing a full-scale export processing zone (EPZ EPZ Export Processing Zone
EPZ Emergency Planning Zone
EPZ Evil Petting Zoo
EPZ Export Promotion Zone
EPZ Erosion-Prone Zone ) in the harbour town of Walvis Bay Walvis Bay (wôl`vĭs), municipality (1991 pop. 12,100), W central Namibia, on Walvis Bay, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean. Walvis Bay is Namibia's most important port and the terminus of a railroad from the hinterland. . In the meanwhile, Namibia is bracing itself for a tourist invasion during the Miss Universe pageant to be held this month.
Fortified fortified (fôrt´fīd),
adj containing additives more potent than the principal ingredient. by its overwhelming victory in last December's elections, the ruling Swapo party is confident political stability and a favourable business climate will facilitate significant inflows of foreign investment. This has so far mainly been channelled into the fishing industry and tourist developments. While some economic diversification has resulted, the predominant source of export revenues and major contributor to GDP GDP (guanosine diphosphate): see guanine. remains the mining sector, which is vulnerable to unpredictable fluctuations in demand on the world market.
But with unemployment at over 30%, there is an urgent need to provide additional long-term jobs. The sectors offering the most potential are fishing and manufacturing. The reintegration reintegration /re·in·te·gra·tion/ (-in-te-gra´shun)
1. biological integration after a state of disruption.
2. restoration of harmonious mental function after disintegration of the personality in mental illness. of Walvis Bay harbour, its surrounding enclave and 12 offshore islands in March last year has provided Namibia with new opportunities to develop the central coastal region as a dynamic growth point for the whole economy. Investment in onshore whitefish whitefish: see salmon.
Any of several silvery food fishes (family Salmonidae, or Coregonidae), inhabiting cold northern lakes of Europe, Asia, and North America. processing has already exceeded N$800m ($145.5m) in the past three years, while suppliers of inputs to the fishing industry are establishing new local capacity.
Walvis Bay harbour is mainly used for Namibia's sea-borne trade but has the potential of becoming an international trade gateway for the region. A sign of confidence was the decision by South Africa's MacPhait Holdings to build a N$20m ($3.6m) bulk cargo That which is generally shipped in volume where the transportation conveyance is the only external container; such as liquids, ore, or grain. terminal which on completion in mid-1995 will increase the efficiency of handling operations at the port by 30%.
But to take advantage of liberalised global trading conditions under the Uraguay Round, countries such as Namibia whose exports are predominantly unprocessed, must find ways of increasing the export of value-added products. To this end, the Government carried out an evaluation of export processing zones (EPZs) elsewhere, particularly those of Mauritius, and in March, the Namibian Parliament passed an Act authorising an EPZ in Walvis Bay.
This enables the formation of "EPZ enterprises" engaged in manufacturing, export or import activities, which will pay no income tax on their activities, while customs duty customs duty: see tariff. and sales tax sales tax, levy on the sale of goods or services, generally calculated as a percentage of the selling price, and sometimes called a purchase tax. It is usually collected in the form of an extra charge by the retailer, who remits the tax to the government. will be entirely waived provided products are not sold in Namibia.
The Trade and Industry Minister Mr Hidipa Hamutenya, says the aim is to create up to 10,000 new jobs over the next five years. Textiles, electronic components and value-adding to local raw materials are the primary targets. A new Offshore Development Company is being set up, initially as an arm of the Government's existing Investment Centre, and like the Mauritius Offshore Business Activities Authority (MOBAA) will promote the EPZ internationally to investors. A new offshore financial regime allowing investors to operate largely free of foreign exchange controls is also planned.
The Government is also currently pulling out all the stops to maximise spin-off benefits from the US-organised Miss Universe beauty pageant in May. This is being staged for the first time in Africa and to accommodate the event which is expected to be seen by some 650m global television viewers - the country's first five-star hotel and entertainment complex is nearing completion. The N$80m ($14.5m) Windhoek Country Club complex is only the latest venture of the South African company Stocks and Stocks, which last December opened a N$45m ($8.2m) four-star hotel and Namibia's first casino in the resort town of Swakopmund. Prime Minister Hage Geingob Hage Geingob (born 3 August 1941 in the Grootfontein District, Namibia) was the first Prime Minister of independent Namibia. He is a member of the SWAPO Party. Early life
Geingob received his early education at Otavi in Namibia under the hated Bantu Education System. , has urged Namibian firms to take full advantage of the event.
The Government anticipates the number of foreign tourists may exceed the 300,000 mark for the first time. The legalisation n. 1. the act of legalizing; same as legalization.
Noun 1. legalisation - the act of making lawful
group action - action taken by a group of people of gambling last year has led to criticism that the government is promoting a "casino culture" - however, both hotels are providing direct employment to 500 Namibians and attracting high-spending foreign tourists.