The Botswana Confederation of Commerce Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM) has qualified the 2011 Global Expo as a success.
The Global expo took place from the 23rd to 26th November at Boipuso Hall.
“Despite the uncertain global economic crisis, BEDIA did well, having managed to attract 200 exhibitors from at least 15 countries,” said Alex Monchusi, BOCCIM president.
┬áMonchusi said the expo will be able to achieve its objective of promoting economic diversification and partnerships taking into cognisance the diversified businesses from outside the country, most of which have clearly stated that they are looking for local partners.
“We expect that with diversified linkages there will be increased regional and ultimately international trade,” he said.
Monchusi hailed foreign exhibitors for having braved the uncertain global economy by┬áparticipating in the Global expo.
“This indicates that Botswana had all the right indicators for doing business, with a relatively strong, stable and growing economy as well as many other indicators that point to a good environment for doing business in Botswana,” he said.
“At BOCCIM, we continue to lobby that these indicators to the level of ease of doing business in Botswana, though relatively good, need improving on, as we want to remain competitive at international or global level, and we certainly do not want to continue slipping down, relative to other countries, as a favourable destination for investment and doing business,” he said.
Monchusi bemoaned local SME’s failure to participate at the 2011 Expo as a cause for concern.
“The SME’s are confronted with a concoction of challenges, mainly resource related, when it comes to these exhibitions and, therefore, some assistance needs to be given,” he said.
“A vibrant SME sector is key to sustainable economic activity and growth. The local market is too small on its own to provide that sustained vibrancy in the SME sector in the long term, as such it is vital that regional and international markets are developed for and by this sector,” he said.
In addition, he highlighted that it could be of help to attract more SMME’s to participate in the Expo, if BEDIA made it a habit to work with BOCCIM on such projects as most of its members are in this sector.
┬áHe said to attract the much needed FDI and to penetrate into international markets the nation must guard against competitor nations by working harder, smarter and being more responsive to issues on the ground, to trends and changing expectations in the global business space.
┬áMonchusi acknowledged that BEDIA has managed to attract FDI┬áinto particular sectors┬álike energy renewable, mining coal, amongst others whilst sectors Textile and furniture are failing.
“We are also concerned about this; it is a situation that needs to be looked into carefully and addressed urgently,” he said.
“We should try not to take long to address issues and problems that have become manifest, be it about our global competitiveness or general hindrance to business activity in the country,” said Monchusi.
Nonetheless, he commended BEDIA for the splendid job done in improving┬áand diversifying the economy as evidenced by the results.
The 2011 expo was the last Global expo hosted by BEDIA before its merger with IFSC.
“We have made a lot of headway as a nation in marketing Botswana globally, we commend BEDIA, IFSC, Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other institutions for their efforts in this regard,” said Monchusi.