Assistant Minister ofTrade and Industry, KeletsoRakhudu urged localfi rms to position themselvesfor the new entrance into themarket space if not partnershipsand joint ventures to benefi tfrom, as the African market iscurrently becoming a preferredglobal destination for ForeignDirect Investment.Rakhudu relayed his speechat the business-networking platformknown as Vendors Daylast week at the Botswana Bureauof Standards. The event,which was themed ‘PromotingBusiness and Service Deliverylinkages between Small, Mediumand Large Enterprises’, allowedthe business communityto engage and form meaningfuland complementary businessrelationships that are essentialfor business growth and sustainabilityin Botswana.
“You must identify yourcompetitive niche for differentiatingyour products with nonsubstitutablecapabilities thatwould beat the competition andgive you a competitive edgeto earn above average returns.The use of the Balance ScoreCard should become a must inyour daily business activities tomake better and informed decisions,”he said.Botswana’s SMME’s and theinformal sector constitute upto 80 per cent of the businesssector and collectively make aconsiderable contribution to thenation’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP). The private sectoris also seen as the engine ofgrowth in many Governmentstrategies and the National DevelopmentPlan 10 (NDP10).
“Government looks to theprivate sector to participate indriving socio-economic agendas,which include skills developmentand technology transfer,economic diversifi cation, employmentcreation and povertyeradication. In this regard, Governmentcontinues to facilitateprovision for a conducive businessenvironment to enable theindustry to thrive and becomesustainable in the medium tolong term,” Rakhudu said.The minister further said thatthe Government has signedseveral Trade Protocols with anumber of countries, which includefree movement of goodsin the region and special preferentialmarkets through AfricanGrowth and Opportunity Act(AGOA) as these opportunitiesand many others are still underutilizedby local companies.“I urge you to introspect andsee how you can position yourcompanies to take full advantageof these trading opportunities.
I know that some of the imminentchallenges your companiesare facing include, lack ofquality control certifi cation andrequired international accreditationor certifi cation and adequateworking capital amongstothers. However, it is eventssuch as Vendors Day that wouldassist you to better position yourcompanies for further markets,”he added.The Government has prioritisedmost sectors that are participatingunder the EconomicDiversifi cation Drive (EDD)strategy as the key drivers ofeconomic development anddiversifi cation. Through thisstrategy the Government aims toreduce the high bill on importedgoods through facilitation supportto local manufacturing industriesand service providersto expand in order for them tobecome competitive and sustainable.Therefore, local businesseswere urged to work togetherwith the ministry of Trade andIndustry to gain the necessaryadvice and support to grow theirbusinesses.