20 January 2011 | Nick Martindale
The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry has responded to news that the government is considering changing its procurement system to make it easier for SMEs to win contracts.
Chief executive Tarah Shaanika told SM: “It is imperative that the Namibian government puts a greater emphasis on procuring locally.
“The government should be prepared to pay high prices to propel local industries and strengthen domestic businesses,” she said.
Shaanika was responding to comments made by deputy minister of finance Calle Schlettwein at the fifth Commonwealth Public Procurement Network technical conference, where he said the government was reviewing its procurement legislation to find the right balance between value for money and “equitable distribution of business opportunities”.
The government acknowledged that the current setup was “highly unfriendly” towards SMEs, Schlettwein added, meaning they were “by and large excluded”.