Botswana Confederation of Commerce and Industry (BOCCIM) President Alex Monchusi says business ties between South Africa and Botswana should be reignited as a step in helping Botswana to reach for the regional market.
Meanwhile, Monchusi says the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between BOCCIM and the Ministry of Trade and Industry will enhance the private sector by motivating businesses to drive the economy and be its engine of growth.
“Our aim for 2012 is to envisage business without borders,” said Monchusi at BOCCIM’s annual Silver Jubilee dinner. “Work ethics and productivity are key and can have an impact on the investor’s choice.”
He said this now exerts positive pressure on the business community, as they now take on the responsibility of contributing more effectively to the country’s sustainable growth through diversification, employment creation and improving the standard of living. According to Monchusi, this will require a leading role in tackling issues experienced by businesses on the ground. , On a macro level, they will look at capacity building, policy execution and partnership promotion.
“Twenty five years ago the idea of bringing together business men and women from all walks of life to interact with public officials and key decisions makers was only but a thought,” he said.
He said BOCCIM also wants to critically analyze the exchange rate policy mechanism, and assess if it still serves the economy adequately. He added that with this BOCCIM aims to ensure equal benefit for imports and exports from the exchange rate policy to drive economic diversification.
He revealed that BOCCIM wants to benchmark the social dimension of doing business and competitiveness in Botswana, specifically tackling issues of productivity, work ethics and skills development. He further said BOCCIM intends to understand and appreciate the cause of declining productivity levels and benchmark on what other countries who had similar ratings are doing to improve.
BOCCIM Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Maria Machailo-Ellis said that the role journalist’s play is significant to the development of Botswana’s economy and also critically opens opportunities for improvement. She further highlighted the fact that BOCCIM takes pride in its media affiliation, especially its ties with journalists that express immense interest in what the organization is doing to positively impact Botswana’s business environment.
“Throughout the years BOCCIM has provided the definitive voice for all businesses and has been instrumental in influencing the policies and legislative that affects businesses at local, regional and national level,” said Machailo-Ellis.
This year guest speaker at the diner was the Minister of Trade & Industry South Africa Mr. Rob Davies. The the theme for this year’s dinner was 25 years of Driving Botswana’s Economy.