Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Gov’t undertakes mission to improve business climate

Government has undertaken a task to analyze and improve the climate of doing business in Botswana in line with the recent government’s reset agenda.

During a recent national dissemination conference on Comparative Analysis of Doing Business and Investment Climate in Botswana held in Gaborone, government officials emphasized the need to cultivate a conducive environment for the business sector in order to attract investment.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry Malebogo Morakaladi said in 2013 her Ministry partnered with the World Bank Group to develop and provide technical assistance for the doing Business reforms roadmap which was approved by Cabinet in 2015.

“ I wish to highlight that some of the outcomes of the Roadmap include, but not limited to: Online Business Registration System (OBRS); Amendments of the Trade and Industrial Development Acts; Customs Management Systems; Electronic Filing and payment of taxes; Amendment of the Environmental Assessment Act, etc.  It is against this background that my Ministry has partnered with the European Delegation to Botswana and SADC to carry out a three (3) year programme dubbed Job Creation and Investment Climate (JCIC), which they financed to the tune of €5m,” said Morakaladi.

Morakaladi indicated that the main objectives of this programme are to Improve Botswana’s investment climate and competitiveness; and Ecotourism development, with a focus on community based economically viable and effectively managed ecotourism enterprises. 

 “On realizing that E-Government is a key enabler to ease of doing business, the Ministry decided to include it under the former objective, which is in line with His Excellency’s Reset Agenda and Digital Transformation Strategy. A team of long and short term experts have been busy on the ground working on the different components of the Programme since the inception of the programme in June 2021,” she said.

For her part the European Union Ambassador Petra Pereyra said the job creation and investment climate programme and the EPA support programmes are two EU flagship programmes in Botswana to support the economic transformation and diversification of the country and its ambition to attain high-income status by 2036 while reducing poverty and inequalities.

“The activity which gathers us today is of critical importance, 50% of the active population of Botswana work as civil servants. There is a crucial need to stimulate the development of the private sector and create the enabling conditions for businesses to grow and create jobs,” said Pereyra.

A report by the World Bank, titled ‘Doing business 2014: Southern African Development Community (SADC)’ has identified Botswana as one of the best performing countries in ease of doing business in the region.

The report, published in June 2014, dealt with obstacles faced by companies in opening and running small to medium-size business in the region. 

It considered 11 areas in the life cycle of a business; starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency and employing workers.

The report ranked Botswana first in the region as it offered investor friendly services in starting a business, registering property and resolving insolvency. Botswana was ranked among the top performing investor friendly countries in Africa. Out of 189 countries in the world, Botswana attained position 56 after top performer Mauritius (20) and South Africa (41).

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