Monday, May 25, 2020

IFSC sells itself to the South African businesses

IFSC Botswana this week met South African businesses in a bid to sensitise them about its activities and tell them why they should set up in the country.

The team, led by Acting Chief Executive Officer, Letsebe Sejoe, together with officials of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, including minister Dorcas Makgato- Malesu, held open discussions in Johannesburg where investors were given a country brief and advantages of investing here.

Presenting on the overview of his organisation, Sejoe said the IFSC is a ploy by Botswana government to turn the country into a world class financial and business services hub.

“The advantages of setting up here is that companies get a discounted corporate tax rate of 15 percent and there are exemptions from CGT, WHT and Zero rating for VAT,” said Sejoe.

The other advantage is that there are no foreign company ownership restrictions. IFSC also allows companies the ability to denominate share capital in any major internationally convertible currency (US dollar, the Euro, the Pound and the Rand).

The IFSC came about by way of amendment to Income Tax Act and currently there are 45 companies domiciled here ranging from banking, insurance, asset management to tourism.

Sejoe said most of the banking companies accredited under the IFSC are originally from Zimbabwe although there are many South African financial institutions operating in Botswana, but not members of the IFSC.

Some of the South African brands doing business in Botswana and across Africa include Investec, FNB, Stanbic, Sanlam and Absa.

Botswana High Commissioner to South Africa, Kenny Kapinga, urged the South African businesses to join the Friends of Botswana organisation.

“Opportunities are still open. Most of you are not strangers to Botswana and I urge you to join an organisation called Friends of Botswana,” he said.

The largest joint venture to date between South African companies within the country is De Beers and government of Botswana, where they own 50 percent each in Debswana Diamond Company.

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Sunday Standard May 24 – 30

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of May 24 - 30, 2020.