Breaking News

BITC business fora payback

31 May 2023

In a significant move toward expanding the country’s investment climate, Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) scores satisfactorily on business forums held alongside state visits. Facilitated by BITC, diplomatic missions continually host business forums in collaboration in collaboration with the government, private sector, partner investment and Trade Promotion Agencies (ITPAs).

According to BITC executive director – brand management, Ms Kutlo Moagi said the forums provided a platform for engagement and dialogue on investment opportunities, exhibition of products and services, identification of areas of mutual interest to promote business partnerships and deliberate on issues that could promote sustainable trade and investment with identified markets.

He said over the years, a strategic joint-venture (JV) partnership was concluded between a local entity and South African company following business-to-business interactions at the 28th anniversary of Botswana and South Africa inward investor mission held in 2022.

“The local entity is a medical Bio-Technology company engaged in manufacturing and sale of a range of medical devices, supplies, and laboratory equipment and diagnostic products,” she said. 

To date, Ms Moagi said the company has exported to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, with other African countries in the pipeline.

She said government recently entered into partnership with a leading diamond manufacturing company to propel its diamond sector growth and beneficiation, citing that the partnership was expected to promote production efficiencies.

Ms Moagi said this particular lead was generated through outward missions to Europe via business forums which had resulted in the current strategic partnership.

In addition, she confirmed that BITC had managed to attract financing packages to support key strategic projects underpinning Botswana’s Economic Transformation and Diversification plan.

Notably, she said African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) announced a historic lending arrangement to Botswana on the sidelines of the Global Expo Botswana in November 2022.

She reiterated that the arrangement will be in the form of a three-year country programme of approximately BWP20.68 billion (on a net basis), with funding for up to seven years for eligible transactions.

This package she said had been designed to support key strategic projects underpinning Botswana’s Economic Transformation and Diversification Plan with funding allocated to roads, mining, digital broadcast/creative industry, manufacturing and local content promotion to mention a few, she said.

“Afreximbank’ s historic commitment to Botswana brought to conclusion a comprehensive process of consultation and analysis which saw close collaboration between Afreximbank and the President of the Republic of Botswana, Dr Masisi, Ministry of Finance, Trade and Industry, the Governor of Bank of Botswana, BITC and the Special Economic Zones Authority Botswana, among others,” she said.

Notably, she said the lending commitment will support Botswana’s National Development Plan, which sets out the country’s aspiration to become an export-led and high-income economy by 2036.

Ms Moagi added that the pledge will be driven by annual growth rate of 10 percent and industrial contribution to GDP of 45 percent, as well as significant innovation capacity with 4.5 percent of the national budget directed toward research and development.

Based on the latter, Afreximbank technical team made a follow up and collected required macroeconomic data information, including project specific information critical for the preparation of draft country programme paper, she elaborated.

At this juncture, Ms Moagi said the draft paper had since been finalised and was being reviewed internally by Afreximbank before it could be presented to government for input before approval by the Bank’s Board.

“Through these business forums BITC managed to enter into strategic partnerships with the objective of strengthening trade and investment relations, joint promotion of investment opportunities, co-hosting of events, information sharing and investor matchmaking,” she said.

In particular, Ms Moagi said collaborations by BITC under implementation in the form of MoUs included BITC/Rwanda Development Board and Business Botswana/Rwanda Private Sector Development Board.

“BITC/Mauritius Economic Development Board, BITC/National Agency for the Promotion of Investment (DRC), BITC/Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN), BITC/WESGRO are other MoUs reached through these forums,” she said.

Ms Moagi said these forums assisted in identifying bottlenecks impeding trade and investment as well as informing possible solutions to promote ease of doing business. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Marvin Motlhabane

Location : GABORONE

Event : Business forum

Date : 31 May 2023