Namibia’s economy is being squeezed by the slowdown of developing economies and by its own domestic challenges, the country’s minister of finance has said.
Calle Schlettwein, in a speech to department employees, said the country’s economy had been hit by low commodity prices in the mining, agriculture and fishing industries as a result of a slowdown in demand from countries such as China, Brazil and Russia.
The poor economic performance of its two closest trading partners, South Africa and Angola, had also left Namibia “wedged between two large neighbouring economies… faced with sever structural challenges”. In his speech, Schlettwein said South Africa was growing at just 0.1%, while Angola had been hit by the low oil price.
“The low growth for the South African economy is a concern not only for trade, but taxes from trade,” he said.
Namibia itself was struggling with a “severe drought situation,” said Schlettwein, affecting water intensive industries including construction and beverages, as well as structural challenges including skills shortages, unemployment, inequality and poverty.