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Makgato-Malesu to lead BITC mission to South Africa

The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) will kick-start its investment promotion missions with a meeting that will share the country’s story with the South African investment community.

The mission, to be led by the Trade and Industry minister, Dorcas Makgato-Malesu, was expected to meet at the Michelangelo Hotel, Sandton, on May 21, 2013, at 18:30 and the organisation will share the country’s “business opportunities with the South African Business Community with an interest to do business in Botswana”.

“The event will be attended by the CEOs of local companies; members of the diplomatic corps residing in South Africa, intermediary organisations and captains of industry,” BITC said on Monday.

BITC, which is the creation of a merger between BEDIA and IFSC, is an integrated investment and trade promotion agency with a mandate of promoting Botswana’s investment and trade potential, including managing Botswana’s nation brand initiatives.

The organisation recently launched its Corporate and Brand Strategy in Gaborone and it has now embarking on promoting the country’s investment and trade potential to various international markets beginning with the South African mission.

Botswana is the world’s largest producer of quality gem diamonds by value, and over the years the government has used the revenues prudently to make significant human capital and infrastructural investments.

The country has one of the world’s largest reserves of coal in the world, estimated at 212 billion tons, and has also in abundance of mineral resources such as copper, nickel, gold, uranium, and soda ash.

Botswana has a stable, convertible currency and is a market led economy. The country is consistently ranked as having one of the top three economies in Africa, and is a regional leader in economic freedom.

A country of just over two million people and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate of USD
14.4 million (2011), Botswana is one of Africa’s most stable nations and boasts the continent’s longest continuous multiparty democracy.

The country is relatively free of corruption and has a good human rights record. Investor confidence has remained high during the Global Financial Crisis, as evidenced by the fact that the fastest growing sectors in 2011 were Construction, General Government and Trade and Hotels and Restaurants, which grew in real terms by over 10 percent.

In addition, Botswana has concluded and signed numerous bilateral and regional trade agreements with countries such as Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. Some of these provide duty free and quota free market access like SACU FTA, while some accord preferential market access to Botswana’s goods and services like SADC and AGOA.

Reporting to the country’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, the BITC is an amalgamation of the former Botswana International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) and the Botswana Export
Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA).

Its mandate is to promote inward investment, promote our exports and increase citizen participation in the economy. BITC has set up international offices in Johannesburg, London and Mumbai to ensure global market access.

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