The Permanent Secretary to the Office of the President, Eric Molale, has challenged the business community to work hand in hand with government to ensure that Batswana ultimately benefit from the relocation of the Diamond Trading Centre (DTC) from London to Gaborone by exploring and identifying opportunities not just in the diamond industry but also in other areas that could come from this move.
Addressing the private Business community at the Botswana Confederation of Commerce Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM) Annual General Meeting, Molale, who is also the Chairperson of the Minerals Policy Committee, explained that Botswana was responsible for 67 percent of DTC Diamonds and also 75 percent for their profit.
He further explained that in the international mining scene, Botswana is rated among the top 5 in the world in diamond production.
The President of BOCCIM, Alex Monchusi, indicated that the BOCCIM members are looking forward to this relocation and were hoping for a more “Vibrant business environment.”
Monchusi further stressed that the private sector was negatively affected by last year’s civil service strike and explained that BOCCIM assisted in the mediation process between Government and Unions.
He stated that BOCCIM and the Ministry of Trade and Industry had a Memorandum of Agreement to create a conducive environment that would enable the private sector to become the drivers of economic growth and diversification.
On the investor attraction category, Monchusi explained that BOCCIM, in conjunction with the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), developed a code of conduct which aims at expanding recognition and prevention of corruption and encouraging ethical business practices which will attract investors.
Monchusi explained to BOCCIM members that they should continue to demand delivery from the secretariat as well as provide resources to the secretariat to help them help themselves.
BOCCIM members enquired for further clarity on how Batswana were going to benefit from the relocation of the DTC to which Mr Molale responded by encouraging Batswana to have a positive attitude and take advantage of this move from all perspectives and sectors, citing examples of the education, tourism and transport sectors.