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Namibia reports more overseas tourist arrivals in 2017: report

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- Namibia attracted more than 1.4 million tourists in 2017, a growth of 2.1 percent year-on-year, said a report released by Namibia authorities on Friday.

The Namibia Tourism Board’s 2017 Statistics Report says overseas tourists mainly travel to Namibia for holiday purposes.

Angola, South Africa, and Zambia were the top three markets, and China was listed as the biggest Asian market with a total of 14,584 tourist arrivals.

“We are delighted that Namibia was able to achieve such positive growth again in 2017,” said Digu Naobeb, CEO of the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB).

Naobeb attributed the growth to strategic marketing and public relations work, as well as NTB’s continuous collaboration with international tourism partners.

Naobeb said that NTB eyes to attract international visitors to lesser-known regions of the country in the future.



Namibia’s mining industry stays positive amid challenges: official

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- Namibia’s Chamber of Mines President Zebra Kasete said the country’s mining industry continues to grow despite various challenges experienced this year.

Speaking in a mining industry briefings to Minister of Mines and Energy Tom Alweendo on Wednesday, Kasete said that this year commodity markets continued to be volatile, with uranium still being very depressed, a situation that forced Langer Heinrich uranium mine to lay off about 600 workers.

“We are, however, consoled by the robust fundamentals of the uranium markets in the medium to long term. Indications are that the markets may recovery by 2022, at which point the two mines on care and maintenance will come back into production and at least five uranium projects will advance to mine development,” he said.

“The challenges are being addressed and the mines may come back into operations again when market conditions improve,” he added.

Kasete told the minister that investments into new mines are currently taking place and the ministry will soon officiate some of the operations.

“New operations include the reopening of the Namibia Lead and Zinc mine outside Swakopmund, the Whale Rock Cement factory with a mining license over its quarry and the revival of the Uis tin mine which was closed down in the early 1990s,” he added.

Meanwhile, Kasete said the Chamber of Mines is however concerned with new tax proposals in the Income Tax Amendment Bill of 2018.

“Some of these proposals are so devastating to the industry and thus counterproductive to the objective of growing the economy,” he said.

The minister said in a statement that despite the challenges the industry is faced with, mining activities in the country continue to contribute significantly to the economy and national development agendas.


Namibian economy expected to contract by 0.2 percent this year

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- Namibia’s domestic economy is expected to contract by 0.2 percent in 2018, the Bank of Namibia (BoN) said Friday.

The central bank said the estimated contraction in 2018 is based on weak year-to-date performances in sectors such as wholesale and retail trade, real estate and business services, hotels and restaurants, government sectors and taxes on products.

Kazembire Zemburuka, BoN Deputy Director of Corporate Communications, said that Real Gross Domestic Product is expected to contract by 0.2 percent in 2018, from a deeper contraction of 0.9 percent recorded in 2017.

Zemburuka said risks of domestic growth include a weak recovery in the country’s trading partners and slow recovery in international commodity prices, particularly for uranium.


Namibia to adopt new tax system to improve tax administration

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- Namibia is expected to operate its new tax system in mid-January next year, a move to further improve tax administration, an official said on Friday.

The Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS) is developed as an information technology solution for the country’s tax administration, said Erica Shafudah, Permanent Secretary of the Finance Ministry.

According to her, the ITAS is set to use technology to reduce administration costs and strengthen the ability to enforce compliance.

“The new system will allow taxpayers to submit requests and file their returns online,” she added.

The development of ITAS started in 2013.


China remains largest importer of Namibian goods and servcies

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) on Thursday said that China remains the largest importer of Namibian goods and services in the third quarter of 2018, accounting for 23 percent of its total exports.

According to data released by the NSA, South Africa ranks second at 17 percent and Botswana third at 11 percent.

“Overall exports grew by 56 percent, and imports went up by 16 percent,” said NSA Statistician General Alex Shimuafeni.

Trade deficit in the third quarter improved significantly, a development good for economic recovery, Shimuafeni said.

The NSA said Namibia mainly exports such commodities as copper, diamonds and ores. 



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