The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has stated that there is need for a revival of and a heavy reinvestment by the private sector in the country’s manufacturing sector.
BITC Acting Chief Executive Officer, Letsebe Sejoe, said that Botswana’s current import bill which stands at P38.6 billion is an indication of “immediate opportunities” for Batswana within the manufacturing sector.
“Further opportunities under manufacturing exist in the beneficiation of available raw materials such as beef, leather, minerals and glass manufacturing. We have further established collaboration with Centre for the Development of Enterprise (CDE) to provide capacity building with the aim to up-skill and to efficiently undertake the Export Development Programme,” he stated.
Sejoe said agricultural production is currently below capacity which presents Batswana with the opportunity to participate in production agricultural produce such as cereals currently only 45 percent, pork at 65 percent, honey at 45 percent, small stock at 75 percent, while vegetables and fruit are at 65 percent and at dairy at 11percent.
He is of the view that opportunities also exist within the education sector where there is a high need for provision of speciality training institutions the will create and build skills and expertise in the various sectors within our economy such as hospitality and tourism, mining and energy
The BITC chief said that he is hopeful for a positive national budget given that economic growth in Botswana experienced a slight pick-up in 2013. He cited the recently published national accounts by Statistics Botswana indicate that real GDP growth in the country expanded by 7.9 percent.
“2014 will bring opportunities for the private sector through domestic investment opportunities that BITC continues to promote and encourage participation by Batswana,” said Sejoe.
The BITC says that it has signed partnership agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation through their foreign offices as they have a greater footprint within the international market.
“Our diplomatic missions are actively involved in providing a platform through which foreign direct investment can thrive,” said Sejoe.
Sejoe also emphasised that through local manufacturers, Botswana has the potential to export more products to various regions. He added that to realize this potential, the focus now is to intensify the BITC Export Development Programme that will assist, support and prepare manufacturers in terms of improvement of product quality, packaging and increased production, sufficient enough to meet the requirements of potential buyers.
“As BITC continues to position itself as a 3rd next Generation Investment Promotion Agency with a view to improved performance and increased FDI inflows and exports, our strategy is focused on investment, growth sectors, packaging and availing go to market value propositions that will be used to lure investors into the country,” he stated.