The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC), Letsebe Sejoe, last week revealed that since it was incepted in 2012, the organization has invested heavily in the institutionalization and operationalization of all its core functions.
Sejoe said it was critical that the BITC transition process at the time concluded with the formulation of a new and more focused corporate strategy as well as re-organization of BITC to make it more competitive and successful in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
“Our strategy has ensured that BITC puts in place concerted efforts to consider already existing local companies that are active in the market to support and nurture their existing investment,” he said.
He highlighted that one of the key priorities was to develop a corporate strategy that would model and transform BITC into a new generation investment promotion agency (IPA). The strategy would also ensure delivery of a conducive and competitive business environment for investors and exporters.
“Together with my team, I remain committed and focused to deliver this strategy and will always strive to find new ways to accelerate its achievement,” said Sejoe.
He also said BITC will continue with its investment promotion efforts, which will drive targeted investments by leveraging on Botswana’s competitive and comparative advantages. He further explained that this is what international best practice dictates for many countries who position themselves to maximise their competitive labour supply, natural resources, strategic location and domestic markets.
“We endeavour to maximise on Botswana’s value offering to make best use of our own comparative strengths. Therefore the underlying factor of our journey as BITC is accurately defining what sets us and Botswana apart from our competitors,” he said.
Key to that, said Sejoe, is ensuring that BITC has a conducive business environment for investment to thrive in. It is also BITC’s role, through its Business Facilitation Centre, to ensure seamless business facilitation for all investors and to further advocate for national regulatory and policy reform to support foreign and domestic investment in Botswana.
“We appreciate as an organisation that we cannot deliver on our mandate without involving all stakeholders that play a role in the investment and export pipeline. Therefore we have ensured that at the forefront of our strategy there is intensive, proactive and continuous synergy with key stakeholders such as economic hubs, government and complimentary mandate organizations,” he said.
He further stated that BITC’s role as the interim special economic zone (SEZ) authority is an important step towards improving the ease of doing business in Botswana. He said SEZ’s have a proven track record in many countries, of becoming vibrant nodes of increased economic activity and are bound to boost success in attracting FDI and trade. While the ease of doing business will be vastly improved for those qualified to operate from within the SEZ’s, it will continue to remain a priority for BITC to ensure that those who operate outside the zones also benefit. Some of the characteristics that make Botswana unique and contribute to the strength of its brand are that Botswana is committed to sound macroeconomic policy, economic freedom and has a steady and dramatic growth rate. Also, Botswana is stable, peaceful, and transparent.
“Botswana opens the door to a massive market and we provide investors with preferential access to the entire SADC marketplace with over 230 million people. We open up duty-free access to South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland. We provide duty-free and quota-free access to the European Union market,” said Sejoe.