The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre has created the physical in-house infrastructure for the One-Stop-Shop and training of operators is ongoing, says Acting Chief Executive Officer, Letsebe Sejoe.
Sejoe revealed that BITC will facilitate investors in work and residents permits as well as utilities connections. He also added that BITC is currently negotiating Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with key stakeholders, whose services directly impact the business start-up process, with a view to enhancing the effectiveness of the One-Stop-Shop.
“Alignment to ongoing national strategic priorities includes mining and energy, Diamond, Agriculture Hub, Education Hub, Transport and Logistics Hub, Financial and Business Services as well as tourism,” said Sejoe.
He pointed out that BITC was established as a new generation investment and export promotion agency to meet the challenges created by the new competitive environment. He added that BITC is aiming at seizing the opportunities.
“The BITC strategy aims to drive economic growth and diversification as well as competitiveness of the Botswana business environment,” he stated.
Sejoe said that with the export development and promotion, a diagnostic assessment has been carried out to gauge the current capacity of our manufacturers to export. He added that there is also collaboration with Centre for the Development of Enterprise (CDE) to provide capacity building for BITC staff to up-skill us to efficiently undertake the Export Development Programme.
“The relevance of Special Economic Zones to Economic Development in Botswana is important as they primarily aim to overcome barriers to trade, investment and the attraction of FDI. It also aims at creating a more competitive or conducive business environment for the attraction investors,” said Sejoe.
On BITC’s strategic focus, Sejoe pointed out that the parastatal has a strategic planning process which consists of eight Strategic Leverage Areas (SLAs) which identified and clarified what the priorities are and where the real opportunities lie. Furthermore, Sejoe said that the strategy focuses on channeling the efforts, resources and time more intelligently.
Regarding the progress that has been made to date, Sejoe mentioned the crafting of the SEZ Bill which is at draft stage, selection and confirmation of SEZ sites.
“Prioritisation of the SEZ sites roll out is on the basis of the degree of complexity of the particular SEZ,” he said.
He expressed satisfaction about their successful relocation to CBD to accommodate all functions of the new entity, as well as achieving cost savings to government of P24 million from before merging IFSC and BEDIA at P111million while it is currently P87 million with BITC annually.
“We have launched Botswana and BITC brands in Johannesburg and due to launch in India and UK. We exist to tactically and innovatively promote Botswana as the leading destination for investment and trade in Africa,” he said.