FNB Senior Economist, Namene Kalili brought his considerable insights to a local audience last week at a Global Markets seminar hosted by RMB Namibia. The seminar, drawing on the contributions of a number of experts, focused on the position of Namibian commodities in the face of global change.
Isaah Mhlanga, an economist from RMB SA joined Kalili to provide the audience with an economic overview themed, Navigating through the Noise, Economic Overview. Ettienne van Wyk, RMB’s Head of Commodities Trading provided a presentation on Structural Changes in Commodities.
In a panel discussion moderated by former FNB economist, Daniel Motinga, the experts looked at growth prospects for Namibia as a commodity-based economy.
Topics covered the global economic impact on local commodities and growth potential, opportunities in beneficiation, and balancing local ownership with the expectations of large multi-nationals that bring investment.
Financial institutions assisting with the mitigation of risks and enabling the opportunities for the commodities sector was also a key talking point. The panellists included Markus Lubbe: Acting CEO of NamDeb, Lauren Davidson: Economist at the Chamber of Mines of Namibia, Steve Galloway: Retired Geologist and investment banker, as well as van Wyk and Mhlanga.
Neville Ntema, Corporate Forex Dealer at RMB Global Markets said “In the greater scheme of things, commodities, raw or partially processed often are the most significant exports and revenue earners of developing countries and the revenue generated from these exports have a pivotal effect in those economies. Taking Namibia’s NDP series into consideration, we believe that all parties who are part of the application and implementation of the NDP’s need to come together to workshop around the potential solutions, which will lead to profitability and sustainability of both the economy and our respective businesses. Of course, with the world fast becoming a global village, Africa, let alone Namibia can no longer ignore the evolution of global commodity prices, demand and supply factors.”
“The way forward for commodity producers will require innovation, cost reduction and improved returns on investment” said Ntema, adding that beneficiation will raise the country’s competitiveness profile.
“In line with the NDP series, mining is a stepping stone to kick-start other business streams for the economy, as a form of downstream business when the miners start to add value to the resources they are mining. Thus far Namibia has dropped in ranking, from an investment destination point of view. However, acknowledging that mining is an anchor industry for FDI, beneficiation will potentially move the country up in the ranking of foreign direct investment destination,” he said.