India’s High Commissioner to Botswana, Madhava Chandra, urged his host country to emulate the Asian tiger by embracing information technology as an engine of economic growth in a bid to uplift the lives local citizens.
India is one of the top examples of the developing countries with high Gross Domestic Product (GDP), growths ÔÇô alongside Brazil, China and RussiaÔÇöbut is also credited for keen interest in the promotion of the information technology sector.
Speaking at the BOCCIM Northern Trade Fair (NTF) in Francistown on Friday, Chandra said the two countries should stand shoulder- to- shoulder in bolstering their economies through the development of the sector.
“These are opportunities that Botswana and India should optimise as they seek to instill more content to their bilateral relationship and to create a more secure and stable world order,” he said.
Touching on the theme of the trade fair, Global Marketing: A tool for sustainable growth, he indicated that “it is very crucial in the modern world to build strong, respectful international relationships”.
Both countries endured British rule in their history India as a colony while Botswana was treated as a protectorate.
Botswana which is heavily dependent on mineral sector has long haboured some ambitions to diversify its economy but with no success. In the recent past, Botswana has come up with National Brand initiatives which are lacking budget support and the political will to market it internationally.
However, Chandra urged Botswana to use trade fairs as a widow to market itself to the world including to Indian companies.
“The BOCCIM trade fair is a window of opportunity for the current investor and the entrepreneur,” he highlighted.
Chandra mentioned that the trade fair is a platform to allow India and her citizens in Botswana to partner with local businessmen and entrepreneurs towards the development of an enduring relationship between the two countries through people to people contact.
He added that due to rapid changes in technology and communications globalization is essential in integrating markets and economies which will then help provide equal access to the global economic cake.
He applauded BOCCIM Northern Trade Fair for attracting businesses and institutions of different sizes to showcase their initiatives that include public sector, private sector and parastatals.
“The most interesting thing is that participation of the small business sector has been provided over the years by providing a special exhibition space for them and the fees are fairly reasonable,” Chandra remarked.
On the other hand the Vice ÔÇô Chairperson of BOCCIM, John Wellio pointed out that the theme of the trade fair is set to show that for the economy of the country to grow there is need to look for other sectors that may offer new opportunities for expansion and have the potential to flourish in exports.
“This year saw an increase in participation from the tourism sector an area of our economy that survives from global business and knows about global marketing and how it is a tool for sustainable growth,” Wellio said.
He also mentioned that cross border communications and market entry strategies are very crucial for any business to thrive and go global.
He urged the business community to try and exert their efforts into making sure that the goods and services they produce are of quality standards.
He gave example of India as a developing country that has managed a sector such as the ICT and made it an export success.
Wellio mentioned that selling products is not the only option that the business community can rely on, but even the selling of services and skills.
The BOCCIM Northern Northern Trade Fair was established in 1994 and has grown into an event that attracts businesses from different sectors, not only within Botswana but even beyond borders.
The objective of the fair is to create a platform for entrepreneurs where they can meet current and potential customers, display, demonstrate and sell their products or services, meet suppliers, assess competitors and conduct market research.