The Botswana Export and Development Investment Agency (BEDIA) is confident that its making headway towards diversifying the economy as evidenced by the foreign direct investment and exports they have realized for the financial year 2010 -2011.
“We are impressed with progress we have made from investor promotions that BEDIA has undertaken under Export Enterprise Development wing,” said Kungo Lentswe, Acting director Export Enterprise development.
“We have managed to achieve despite global economic shocks,” she said. For the financial year 2010 -2011 Combined Investment Capital realized was P715 million, with new domestic investment realized being P148 million and Foreign Direct Investment attracted was P567million.
“This is a respectable achievement compared to the prior year 2009-2010 where the combined investment capital totaled to P319 million,” said Lentswe.
Besides attracting FDI, Lentswe said the export wing’s mandate is to promote investment in export oriented fields, which would result in economic growth, employment and diversified export portfolio.
“So far we are impressed with progress that we made in attracting investment. We have had positive responses from Australian, Swedish, German, Indian and Mauritian investors. They also responded positively by injecting more capital on their local operations,” she said. BEDIA managed to attract foreign direct investment worth P567 million, which Lentswe highlighted as quite remarkable.
She said investment has mainly been concentrated in renewable energy, mining coal, infrastructure, beef products and pharmaceuticals.
“The textile industry is faced with challenges as such failing to attract investment,” she said. She added that the textile sector has great potential and can benefit greatly in fighting unemployment in the country.
Lentswe added that the country’s exports have realised significant growth, especially from African trading partners with nontraditional exports reaching P365 million, exceeding the set target of P179million. Some of the markets include Mozambique, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and South Africa who import Soda ash, cans, soap, beef, salt, insulating products and electrical cables from Botswana companies.
Lentswe was bullish about the new investment and expansion which exceeded the set target of 440 million. Exports went up by 36.3 percent in the 2nd quarter of 2011 compared to a drop of 2.1percent in the 2nd quarter of 2010.
“This shows that Botswana businesses are growing and this growth is mainly concentrated in infrastructure,” she said. She said they are also focusing on attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) to promote investment in export oriented fields which would result in economic growth, sustained employment opportunities and a diversified export portfolio.