Monday, July 4, 2022

Makgato-Malesu optimistic on BITC attracting FDI

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dorcas Makgato-Malesu, has expressed satisfaction regarding the merger of the former Botswana International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) and the Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA) through their operations and initiatives, which significantly contributed to Botswana’s economic growth, through attraction of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

She made this revelation when launching the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) corporate and brand strategies in Gaborone on Monday.

Makgato-Malesu noted that BITC has been positioned as a robust organization, taking a different form and being driven by an altogether different organizational culture of working and behaviors.

She pointed out that the establishment of BITC has led to the establishment of export markets for locally produced goods and services and creation of sustainable job opportunities for Batswana.

“Former entities have considerably contributed to the improvement of Botswana’s investment climate and this will remain one of BITC’s major areas going forward.

Makgato-Malesu said that established in 2003, Botswana IFSC’s mandate was to establish and develop Botswana as a world-class hub for international financial and business services into the region and further afield. She added that it was a key component of the overall government objective, which is to improve Botswana’s global competitiveness through the development of an export led financial and business services sector.

She also revealed that the Botswana IFSC since inception had attracted a cumulative P13 billion worth of FDI and created 300 jobs.

“Equally significant was the establishment of BEDIA in 1997 whose mandate was to promote Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Botswana, promote locally produced goods in the regional and international markets and improve Botswana’s investment climate through policy advocacy,” she stated.

She pointed out that BEDIA also increased citizen participation in the economy and was a key institution in creating sustainable job opportunities for Batswana.

Makato-Malesu said that over the years, BEDIA had played a critical role in marketing Botswana, selling investment opportunities in the country and assisting local entrepreneurs in identifying market outlets outside Botswana.

“BEDIA since inception had managed to attract and facilitate P3, 599.875 billion worth of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) (includes domestic investment and expansions) into Botswana creating 16 160 jobs,” she revealed.

For his part, BITC Board Chairman, Victor Senye, stated that FDI attraction as a highly competitive agenda requires alignment with best practices and benchmarking in order to remain ahead of competition.

He also pointed out that the World Bank, the International Trade Centre and indeed many other local and international organisations have provided them with mechanisms for guiding them through the process of achieving excellence as they aspire and unearth potential to be the leading IPA in Africa.

“Our aspiration for BITC and Botswana as a whole is to create wealth for Batswana by creating platforms that will instigate and ensure sustained economic growth of the country,” said Senye.

BITC Chairman added that government as the shareholder remains a key stakeholder and an enabling catalyst to the efforts by creating a favorable legislative strategy, frameworks, incentives, regulations and policies that give Botswana its competitive advantage in terms of attractiveness.
“It is for this reason that we look up to the support and endorsement of Government for the delivery of our mandate going forward,” Senye stated.

He noted that the vision for the organization is embedded mainly in creating value propositions for investors through providing targeted specific interventions and incentives, thereby creating a customer service centered approach that is highly responsive to investors’ needs and expectations, while at the same time upholding high standards of corporate governance.

“As BITC, we are privileged to have the Nation Brand at our disposal. The nation Brand seeks to position Botswana to international audiences as an attractive place to visit, work and invest,” said Senye.

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