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Infant Industry Protection - Good or Bad for Namibia?

During the Business Breakfast the discussion revolved around the advantages and disadvantages of Infant Industry Protection (IIP) in the Namibian context.

Keynote Speaker Mr. Sven Thieme, Executive Chairman of Ohlthaver & List Group of Companies and President of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) was adamant that there is enough evidence to demonstrate that IIP and other policy measures by Government can deliver industrial development and the attainment of country objectives. He argued that there is a need to support and guide government. 

Mr. Matthew Mirecki of the EAN was of the option that Infant Industry Protection is not necessarily a bad thing. There are; however, glaring disadvantages that Namibia should not overlook. As with other forms of protection, IIP is vulnerable to being abused by rent seeking interests; in other words, there is the risk of infant industries merely hiding behind IIP to make large profits while at the same time making little or no effort to become more competitive and to mature. 

The HSF Business Breakfast platform is a high level information sharing and networking platform, open to the general public, business people and socio-economic enthusiasts alike. The Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) in collaboration with the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) and the Economic Association of Namibia (EAN) co-hosted a Business Breakfast on October 9, 2014 at NICE Restaurant, Windhoek.