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FDI pumps P3.1bn into the economy-Kenewendo

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  • 724 business start-ups established in 2018
  • P3.1 billion pumped into economy
  • Ministry exceeds set FDI targets
  • Ministry creates 6 148 jobs

GAZETTE REPORTER

For the 2018/19 financial year, The Ministry of Investment Trade and Industry (MITI) facilitated 724 business start-ups between April 2018 and December 2018, against a target of 526, Minister Bogolo Kenewendo revealed in Parliament.

Further, she said the economy realised a total of P3.116 billion worth of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) during the same period against a target of P1.725billion. Meanwhile, a total of P1.858billion worth of Domestic investment and expansions was achieved during the same period against a target of P2.1billion.

“I wish to indicate that a total of P2.065billion value of exports were realised against a target of P2.663billion. The Ministry facilitated creation of 6 148 jobs against a target of 6 525 during the same period, she said. During the year under review, the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) continued to deliver improved investor services to its customers through the Botswana One Stop Service Centre (BOSSC), according to the Minister. She said the introduction of BOSSC in 2017 has led to significant improvement in turnaround times for investors and that during the period under review, a total of 453 Government authorisations were processed through BOSSC.

The average approval rate per month stood at more than 85% according to her.

Kenewendo said as an effort to grow, retain and encourage diversification of investment for companies already in the country, BITC has an Investor Aftercare Programme under the Investor Retention Strategy. Through this programme a total of 69 companies have been visited, which generated a cumulative investment level of P386.03 million and a total of 743 associated jobs, she said. She revealed that capacity building interventions through the Botswana Exporter Development Programme (BEDP) are continuing to bear fruit. Twenty (20) companies are reportedly currently being assisted in developing their export marketing plans. Seven (7) companies are undergoing quality management and productivity improvement training for export readiness and are expected to be certified before end of March 2019.

“BITC continues to implement programmes to promote the export culture of local enterprises to venture into the export markets. In this regard, BITC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Botswana to facilitate training programmes to develop a pool of appropriately skilled exporters and ensure that real value of exports in Botswana economy is consistently growing over time. BITC is reviewing the Botswana Exporter Development Programme (BEDP) through the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The aim of the review is to enhance export competitiveness of local companies to enable them to compete regionally and internationally. The review is expected to be completed in April 2019,” she told the legislators.

BITC facilitated a total of eight (8) export promotion missions to Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa, USA, China and Egypt. About 59 companies participated on these missions. Kenewendo said products introduced to these markets included meat and meat products, building material (clay bricks), food (corned beef), canned tripe, organic fertilizers, cold pressed virgin sunflower cooking oil, automobile batteries, arts and crafts, washed coal, agricultural grow media and electrical products.

Meanwhile the Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) has raised funding on a commercial basis and is expecting to disburse P700m by June 2019. This includes domestic and foreign funds, both on a non- sovereign guaranteed basis. This capital comes at high cost and the capital structure compels the business to focus on high-return, high yield projects and under stricter credit criteria.

BDC has also extended funding to Lobatse Clay Works to restart operations following challenges experienced with a Technical Partner that was identified for the Project. Refurbishment of the Plant is ongoing and is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2020.

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