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Economy and business in Namibia

Namibia is rich in natural resources, above all minerals, but is unsuitable for agriculture. The country has a highly extractive economy, where most of what is produced is exported - and where most of what is consumed is imported. About 80% of Namibia's production, mainly minerals and meat, is exported; about. 70% of the country's consumption consists of imported goods. About half of the food consumption is also imported. This pattern was established under German and South African rule, and is difficult to change, partly because the Namibian economy is strongly linked to the South African, but also because the country's natural conditions presuppose substantial production of meat in agriculture, and that the Namibian domestic market is small, and does not invite industrial production. During the South African occupation, to independence in 1990.

Business of Namibia

According to COUNTRYAAH, the economic activity and structure that developed into 1990 is mainly continued by the once socialist-oriented SWAPO government, which pursues a liberal policy mostly according to the Scandinavian social democratic model. Namibia's economy is considered to be one of the most open in Africa, where conditions are geared to foreign investors, and the country has succeeded in attracting significant investment, most from South Africa. Namibia has ambitions to establish itself as a leading offshore financial center in the region. Since independence, the Namibian economy has become more diversified. in that the government has facilitated business activities, including in favorable terms for private investment, i.a. in export-oriented production zones. At the same time, the government has prioritized public investment in health and education, which was tried in the apartheid era. Namibia may therefore point to social improvements, but these - and economic developments - are threatened by the prevalence of HIV/ AIDS.

Namibia a relatively rich country also measured in gross national income per capita, which is one of the highest in Africa. Statistics show that wealth is very unevenly distributed, both in terms of ownership and income; First and foremost among the country's white and black residents, where around 1/3 of the citizens, in reality, all black, live in widespread poverty. Namibia's economy is distinctly two-fold. The traditional sector includes subsistence agriculture of the African population, especially in Ovamboland in the far north of the country. The modern sector is found in white agriculture, in the fishing industry, mining and in the service industries in the cities. Tourism is a significant sector of growth, based on Namibia's partly unique nature.

Through investments, infrastructure and established trade links, Namibia remains economically closely linked to South Africa. After the regime change in South Africa in 1994, the two countries have governments with fairly similar backgrounds and political orientation, which contributes to enhanced cooperation. Some time after independence, South African currency was still used and the Namibian dollar is linked to the South African rand. Namibia is also linked to South Africa through the SACU Customs Union. A new SACU secretariat opened in Windhoek, 2002. A controversy over Namibian debt to South Africa, from the time of South African rule, was resolved in 1997, when South Africa agreed to write off the debt before Namibia's independence.

Agriculture

The very fragile ecology makes only small parts of Namibia suitable for agriculture, and especially for livestock. The most important products from this sector are traditionally beef, fur from the karakul seed and some ostrich, as well as - from the early 2000s - grapes produced on the Orange River in the south, essential for export to the EU. Alongside some areas of artificial irrigation, most of the food production is done by the African small farmers, and essentially for their own consumption; blue. corn, beans and potatoes. Agriculture is sometimes affected by drought. Around 35% of the country's labor force is employed in agriculture, which in 2003 accounted for just over 10% of GDP. At independence, approx. 4,000 white big farmers 36.2 million hectares, while small farmers disposed of 33.5 million hectares. A land distribution policy led to some land redistribution in the 1990s,

Fishing and hunting

The cold Benguela flow makes Namibian waters among the richest in the world. During South African occupation, the stocks were over-taxed. At independence it became, among other things. With the help of Norwegian aid, a new management regime has been implemented which has helped to increase the stock, with opportunities for increased fishing - and for the once extensive processing industry to be revitalized. The sector is two-fold and consists partly of coastal fishing and partly of deep sea fishing. It is believed that Namibian waters will again be among the richest in the world and that fisheries will be Namibia's most important source of income.

Mining and industry

Namibia is rich in minerals, and mining has for many years been the largest value sector, but with the development of other parts of the economy, its relative importance has decreased, and the sector's share of GDP in 2002 was only approx. 14%, against approx. 50% around 1980. In 2002, minerals accounted for almost 70% of total export value. In particular, the extraction of diamonds, copper, zinc and uranium has been important, but Namibia also has large production of lead and copper, as well as significant deposits of especially tin, lithium and cadmium. Gas deposits have been detected and oil is believed to be present.

Diamonds alone account for around 40-50% of export revenue. Diamond extraction at Oranjemund makes Namibia the world's largest jewelry diamond manufacturer, with approx. 30% of the world's total production of such. About. 98% of the diamonds mined in Namibia are of jewelery quality. Diamond deposits have been declining through decades of extraction, and extraction has largely shifted from land areas south of the country to seabed offshore in the same area. Namibia is the only country to excavate diamonds from the seabed.

Namibia has the world's largest uranium mine, Rössing, and is normally the world's fifth largest producer, but declining demand and low prices have reduced profitability. A new uranium mine was started in 2003, at Langer Heinrich, south of Rössing. While the large copper mines at Tsumeb have been depleted and closed in 1997, zinc has become a major export item, based on extraction from the Scorpion mine, opened in 2000, with an annual capacity of 150,000 tonnes. Namibia is Africa's second largest producer of zinc, and is also the region's largest producer of salt.

During the 1990s, oil exploration was conducted on the country's continental shelf, where a consortium of Norwegian oil companies (Norsk Hydro, Saga and Statoil) was awarded the first licenses for sample drilling. Geological surveys gave positive indications in all four basins surveyed, but in 2005, drift deposits were not yet detected. On the other hand, there are viable deposits of gas found in the Kudu field outside Lüdertiz, and the South African electricity company Eskom presented plans for the construction of a gas power plant that will make Namibia self-sufficient in energy. Plans for the development of the Epupa Falls in the Kunene River, on the border between Namibia and Angola, have been met with international environmental protests. Not least, the Luba people, who are based in this area, have been urged to shrug off the plans.

Industry

Namibia's industrial sector is small, and consists essentially of the processing of raw materials for export (minerals, meat and fish), as well as the production of consumer goods for the domestic market. The pragmatic economic policy with emphasis on private investment, i.a. In 1995, so-called export production zones, with the first in Walvis Bay, have only to a limited extent succeed in attracting investors. Malaysian capital has invested in textile production. Industrial development in Namibia is hampered by a small domestic market and strong competition from a well-developed industrial sector in South Africa.

Foreign Trade

Namibia's historical affiliation with South Africa has been continued after independence, and South Africa is the country's most important trading partner, especially for imports. The main export products are minerals (primarily diamonds and zinc) as well as foods (mainly meat and grapes), and exports are mainly to the US, Japan and the EU.

Transport and Communications

Namibia has a well-developed transport sector, with railways linking the country to South Africa, and a road network with connections to both South Africa in the south and Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia in the east. Walvis Bay is the only major port. in order to receive larger container ships. Namibia has an international airport at Windhoek.

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