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New Era Newspaper Tuesday February 27, 2018

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14 Inside busIness

14 Inside busIness Tuesday, February 27 2018 | NEW ERA Italy’s timid economic recovery hangs on vote result Milan The italian economy is slowly making its way out of an economic crisis that has ravaged the country, but there are fears among the business community that the March 4 election could hobble what is a small and fragile recovery. Figures from the national statistics body istat say the eurozone’s third largest economy recorded growth of 1.4 percent last year, the fastest rate in seven years. However overall economic output is still nearly six percent crisis hit in 2008 and italy is way behind the 2.5 percent growth recorded by the eurozone last year, according to Eurostat. Economists say this weakness is primarily due to italian productivity being among the lowest in Europe, which in itself is due to factors like lack of credit, a mismatch between training and what companies need and a business environment that doesn’t give entrepreneurs a helping hand. “Since 1999, the productivity gap between italy and the other major eurozone countries nicola nobile from Oxford Economics. Gross domestic product (a measure of total output in the economy) “per hour of work is 25 percent lower than that of if Made in italy is a world leader in sectors like fashion and kitchen furnishings, it has nothing to do with the country’s politicians, said alessandro iliprandi, chief executive of leather specialist Bonaudo. italy accounts for 65 percent of European leather production. “The political situation has been unstable for decades and politicians do not make the lives of entrepreneurs easier -- quite For iliprandi the obstacles that hamper everyday life are “the bureaucracy, the slowness of the justice system and the high taxes. To get out of this situation we need radical deci- Centre-left governments led by Matteo Renzi and Paolo Gentiloni have made efforts to ease the frustrations of italy’s business class, and with some success. Between 2012 and 2017, the country jumped from 87th to 46th in the World Bank’s Ease of doing business index, but it remains behind the likes of Romania and Moldova. The labour market has been act introduced by Renzi in 2014, which has made it easier a new type of permanent contracts which increase protections for employees over the course of the contract. But while Renzi says that he has created a million jobs, impact, and trade unions as- sert that the laws have actually contributed to creating more insecure, temporary employment. But for Roberto Pirotti, a professor at Bocconi University in shortcomings, is “a courageous where the unemployment rate still stands at 10.8 percent, and 32.2 percent among 15-24-yearolds, well above the average in the eurozone. The italian government recently lowered the corporate income tax rate from 27.5 percent to 24 percent, but it remains above the United Kingdom’s 19 percent and very far from the 12.5 percent of ireland or nine percent of Hungary. Giovanni lombardi, head of consulting company Tecno, which specialises in energy savings, welcomed the industry plan 4.0 launched by the government in 2016, because “it encourages companies to invest in digitisa- “The market is completely polarised: companies that have not invested in innovation and technology are out of the race, while those that have have made But nobile at Oxford Economics fears that the postelection government will not press ahead with reforms like the Most political parties have prioritised promises of dramatic tax cuts that risk exploding the at 131.6 percent of overall economic output is already the second highest in the eurozone. nobile’s worries could turn out to be correct given preelection polling, which has largely predicted a hung parliament, meaning there will likely be long negotiations before the next government is formed. That will create a great deal of uncertainty about economic policy and risk a blow to investor just when italy least needs it. - NAMPA / AFP Zurich to buy QBE operations, become biggest insurer in Argentina PROCUREMENT: REQUEST FOR SEALED QUOTATION BID NO DESCRIPTION CLOSING DATE @ TIME NCS/RFQ/ NCAA-11/2017 NCS/RFQ/ NCAA-12/2017 NCAA: Cleaning Services at t NCAA: Security Services at 20 February 2018 20 February 2018 st proof Completed proposal, clearly marked with the relevant TOR reference number may be posted to: st For enquiries please call: Ms. A Strauss at tel: 061-702224 GEnEva Zurich insurance said Sunday it had reached an agreement to buy australian insurer QBE’s latin america operations, in a move it said would make it the industry leader in argentina. Switzerland’s largest insurer said in a statement that the acquisition carried a 9-million (333-million-euro) price tag, and would be subject to “closing ad- approvals. “This transaction positions us as the leading insurer in argentina, a market that is demonstrating strong growth, a stable economy and a positive environment for insur- Zurich’s latin america operations. argentina represents around half of the acquired operations, but the company said the move would also add “incremental scale and capabilities in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, and (make) the Group the it said that the acquired operations had pulled in combined gross written premiums of around 0 million in 2017. Zurich said it expected the acquisition to be completed by the end of the year, and said it would be funded through “internal Nampa/AFP

Tuesday, February 27 2018| NEW ERA 15 Court suspends land tax payment, for now Roland Routh Windhoek The Windhoek High Court deputy judge president Hosea Angula has temporarily halted the payment of land tax by commercial farmers the review application on the valuation roll. Judge Angula interdicted the Ministry of Finance from issuing any assessment of land tax payable in terms of the main valuation roll dated April 1, 2012, or requiring any land tax payable based upon the roll. Following various unsuccessful objections to the valuation roll, two farming entities – Traupe Farming and Mapan Boerdery – lodged an urgent application to stop the Ministry of Land Reform, the Minister of Finance and the Commissioner of Inland Revenue from implementing the rulings and orders of the Valuation Court on September 23, 2016; October 10, 2016; November 08, 2016 and November 14, 2016, as well as the proceedings of the Valuation Court where the rulings and orders were made. After granting the interdict, Judge Angula ordered the Ministry of Land Reform to pay the costs of the application. The parties cited in the application are the presiding magistrate Johannes Shuuveni; Fransicus Witbooi; Dudley Hite; John Malumani; Minister of Land Reform, Protasius Thomas; Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry; Minister of Finance and the Commissioner of Inland Revenue. The applicants argued that the valuations on the farms are far in excess of the value of the farms and did not consider the drought Namibia suffered recently. Judge Angula found that explicitly set out facts and circumstances, which they relied upon to make the matter urgent. Furthermore, he said, the court considered the fact that there are commercial interests at stake concerning the dispute pending between the parties and that such The applicants raised three substantive grounds in support of their application to have the Valuation Court’s rulings and orders reviewed and set aside, the judge said. The three grounds concerned the non-compliance of the regulations under the Land Tax Act, and further rulings of the Valuation Court were defective and that the members of the court failed to act fairly and reasonable in terms of common law and Article 18 of the Constitution. “In the court’s considered view, the applicants, as landowners and consequently liable to pay land tax to be levied based on the alleged roll, have a prima facie right to demand that the valuation roll is free of defects before they can be assessed for payment of land tax, the judge said. “Given all these considerations, the court was persuaded that the applicants had discharged the onus on them and had established a prima facie case in the sense that if the facts alleged by the applicants were to remain un-contradicted and were to be believed at the hearing they would establish a prima facie case,” said the judge. The judge ruled that even if the applicants would be eligible for a refund if found to have paid too much tax, they should not be required to part with their money just because they would be able to claim a refund. Leading the pack… Rijamekee Nguvauva, a board member of the Eastern Epukiro Farmers Association (EEFA), and Soul Rapuika, chairperson of the Eiseb branch of EEFA spearheading the resuscitation of EEFA’s Windhoek branch at a meeting in the capital last Monday. Picture: EEFA EEFA seeks to resuscitate Windhoek branch Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro Windhoek Members of the Eastern Epukiro Farmers Association (EEFA) residing in Windhoek are busy establishing a structure of the farmers’ association in the capital to serve as the ears, eyes and arms if not legs of the mother body, which is based in the village of Omauezonjanda in the Epukiro constituency in the Omaheke region. After obtaining a mandate from the association’s leadership, two of the leaders of EEFA in Windhoek, Rijamekee Nguvauva from Epukiro, and Soul Rapuika from Otjombinde constituency, who is also the chairperson of the Eiseb branch of EEFA, convened a meeting of EEFA members in Windhoek last Monday to set the wheels rolling. However, members were not quite sure as to the terms of reference of such a structure, nor the exact nature of the structure, whether it was a branch or just a working committee. Still, other members felt that such a structure should be an ad hoc body but eventually agreed that it must be a permanent structure but should take on assignments on an ad hoc basis as may be mandated by the executive committee of the mother body. But the vexed question at the meeting was the exact mandate of such a structure. It also transpired from one of the longtime members of EEFA, Kamutuua Marenga, that indeed that EEFA has a branch in Windhoek and thus establishing a branch or resuscitating such a branch is within the constitution of the association. Given various suggestions from members regarding programmes and projects that such a branch could engage in, and for which fundraising was necessary, the meeting felt it necessary for the branch to be synchronised with the mother body, especially in view of the fact that some projects are not directly related to farming such as helping schools in the constituency, two of which are in a severe state of dilapidation. Also, the meeting felt it necessary that the branch be in synchronisation with the mother body in whatever it embarks upon given the fact that at any given time EEFA may have urgent priorities and it would not augur well for the branch to work at cross purposes with the mother body in terms of such priorities. Thus the two terms of reference from the leadership of the organisation. Farm launches to improve food security for urban settlers Staff Reporter Windhoek In the far northwestern side of Windhoek, on the border of the informal settlements of Goreangab, a visionary new project called Farm Okukuna was born last week. The project aims to improve food and nutrition security in the capital’s northern settlements. At the groundbreaking ceremony, City of Windhoek councillor, Ananias Niizimba, pointed out that “Farm Okukuna will be the centre for a number of programmes, including growing food, marketing it, supporting small enterprises and entrepreneurship and – most importantly – improving nutrition”. The City of Windhoek has provided the erf, is putting up a fence and will organise basic services such as security, electricity, semi-pure and fresh water. Niizimba stressed that “Farm Okukuna would not be possible without partners who bring in expertise and funding.” The Namibia Future Farming Trust (NFF) has already successfully established 11 aquaponic sites in Windhoek and is the proud winner of the Namibian 2017 Sustainable Development Awards. At Okukuna Farm, NFF will be setting up hydro-/aquaponics, with initial funding from the Finnish Embassy. Community members will be trained and encouraged to use traditional methods for preserving leafy greens (steaming and drying) to produce ekaka or ombindi. Suvi Valkonen of the Fund for Local Cooperation of the Embassy of Finland has called for more stakeholders to come on board. “Here we have land, work and know-how. for the communities”. Permaculture will be a further focus at Farm Okukuna. The Eloolo Permaculture Initiative has proved that this method is very suitable for growing food in Windhoek’s testing climate. At Farm Okukuna they will develop, with volunteers, systems that work on a smallor medium-scale and can be easily adopted and enhanced by local communities on the farm, and in the informal settlements, such as tree-grassanimal systems and home-yard systems. The permaculture designers and trainers are funded through the Liselotte Stiftung, a foundation from Hamburg, Germany. Farm Okukuna also hopes to become the nucleus for further developing Windhoek’s food system to be more sustainable, inclusive, safe and diverse and to provide healthy and affordable food to all. The World Future Council and the City of Windhoek have been engaged in such programmes for a number of years. A recent study of the African Food Security Urban Network in co-operation with the University of Namibia found that food insecurity in Windhoek’s informal settlements has increased from 89 percent to 92 percent over the past nine years. Food is a basic… Suvi Valkonen (Embassy of Finland), Ina Neuberger Wilkie (World Future Council), Councillor Ananias Niizimba (City of Windhoek), Antje Schidlowski (NFF), and Donovan Wagner (Eloolo). Picture: Food Future

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New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167