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At a recent forum for manufacturers and retailers, the challenge of listing local products as stock items with retailers was discussed. The forum was organised by the NMA (Namibian Manufacturers Association) and speakers included Dr Malan Lindeque, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Emile van Zyl, Technical Advisor to the Governor of the Bank of Namibia, and Lorna Shikongo-Kuare, the General Manager: Certification, at the Namibia Standards Institute (NSI).
Manufacturers face a complex set of problems such as the cost of countrywide deliveries, certain laws that restrict business development, retailers’ preference to house brands, having to deal with South African buyers and the low impact of the “Buy Namibian” campaign. On the other hand, retailers noted that local products are not always price competitive, that they should “fit” their needs, and be of such quality and appearance that they can indeed compete with international brands.
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