Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) intend to foster greater investment and economic activity in the region and develop Botswana into a world class financial and business services hub.
BITC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Letsebe Sejoe recently told a Kenya-Botswana business delegation that the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) is a duty free and quota free market that provides access to more than 50 million consumers in Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland.
He said because of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Trade Protocol, Botswana enjoys preferential market access to more than 250 million consumers in the SADC region He also revealed that the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) is a duty free and quota free market access to the USA.
“There are on-going discussions of the COMESA-EAC-SADC tripartite free trade area. When concluded it will offer Botswana a market of over 700 million people,” said Sejoe.
He said Botswana’s investment value proposition offers a low tax regime which comprises 15 percent for manufacturing, financial services companies and companies registered in the Innovation Hub. Sejoe said Botswana charges 22 percent corporate tax for other sectors and also low personal income tax, maximum 25 percent. He said there is free repatriation of profits as well as double taxation agreements in place with various countries.
“Botswana is Africa’s best mining destination and in the Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies, Botswana remains the most preferred mining and minerals investment destination in Africa,” he said.
Sejoe further told the Kenyan delegation that Botswana has mineral discoveries, minerals exploration and prospecting operations in progress. He gave examples of minerals such as uranium, manganese, silver, limestone, copper adding that there are mineral beneficiation and value addition projects on diamond, copper nickel, coal and salt.
He said Botswana recently established the Diamond Trading Centre after the relocation of aggregation services from London, which has raised a need for provision of equipment, services transport and other logistics in mining.
“Botswana is your profitable, stable, secure and sustainable investment environment and Botswana is your true investment partner,” said Sejoe.
The BITC CEO described Botswana as a beacon of political and macro-economic stability for over four decades which is ranked among the best governed states in Africa and the world. He pointed out that the country has sustained periods of economic growth as well as sound macro-economic discipline.
“Botswana has predictable labour market stability with an 82 percent literacy rate. The country’s base line profitability index shows that Botswana is the most profitable investment destination and leads in terms of asset growth and preservation of value. Botswana has the highest investment grade sovereign credit rating in Africa,” said Sejoe.
He revealed that there is need for Botswana to become self sufficient in power generation. He said Botswana’s coal reserves are estimated at about 212 billion tonnes and further revealed that there are high levels of solar irradiation which means greater potential for solar projects.
“Botswana’s IFSC focus sectors are international banking, international business companies, international insurance as well as investment funds,” said Sejoe.