The Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) is to organize a regional conference of the Small, Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) early next year, amid a tsunami of regional free trade area and impending globalization.
“We have to look outside the areas of this country and into the region,” Minister Neo Moroka told a gathering of SMMEs on Thursday night at the GICC.
His statement comes at a time when he is negotiating a trade agreement with the European Commission based on the relaxation of trade rules on asymmetrical order and the Southern African Development Community free trade agreement ÔÇô which by all means is flawedÔÇösimply because there is no standing competition policy and common industrialisation programme.
“We need to build a vibrant SMME sector in the region and Botswana is part of the region,” a representative of LEA said.
The planned conference is expected to bring close to 200 exhibitors and will run for three days from April 16 next year.
This will be the first conference for SMMEsÔÇösouthern AfricaÔÇöand is aimed at exchanging ideas, deal with challenges and building a bulwark of networks across the region.
Some of the challenges that they will have to deal with include the lack of the financial institutions’ appetite to do business with them, poor financial records, poor management service among others.
However, the fair, which will run on the sidelines of the conference is expected to showcase what the SMMEs across the region are able to produce.
For the Botswana SMMEs to succeed in the coming period, there is a need to overhaul a lot of things, including some of the regional trade agreements.