Turkey shows interest in Botswana

Last week, a Turkish business delegation visited Botswana to explore business opportunities. Hosting the delegation, Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) in association with Business Botswana (BB) and the Turkish Exporters Assembly held the Botswana-Turkey business seminar at the Gaborone International Convention Centre to allow for interaction between Batswana and Turkish delegates.

Gracing the seminar were the Turkish ambassador to Botswana, Ibrahim Yagli, BITC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Letsebe Sejoe, President of BB, Lekwalo Mosienyane and representatives from different ministries.

Introducing his country, the Turkish ambassador said Turkey was a very attractive economy with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of over US$ 800 billion, a population of about 75 million, and is a leader in the production and manufacturing of household appliances in Europe. “I’m glad to be based in Botswana and having brought 50 delegates from Turkey who come from different sectors ranging from leather manufacturing, textile and raw materials, to plastic pipes and fittings. Botswana does not get enough press coverage, but it’s a country with prevailing stable economic and political credentials,” said the Turkish ambassador. Ambassador Yagli said he hoped to host a Botswana delegation so as to expose them to the dynamics of the Turkish economy for possible investment.

For her part, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Peggy Serame said Botswana was a springboard for doing business. “Beyond the two million Batswana, there is a whole market of the entire Southern African Development Community (SADC) region which you can access through bilateral and trade agreements we have as a region,” said Serame. She further explained how Botswana plans to grow sectors like mining, tourism and leather and hoped that the Turkish delegates would partner with Botswana on opportunities existing in those sectors.

BITC CEO, Sejoe reiterated Serame’s sentiments; “Botswana is a good destination for doing business with pertinent environmental strengths of political stability and no restrictions to foreign business. Botswana’s geographic location and global competiveness are attractive and it’s the third most competitive economy in SADC after Mauritius and South Africa,” he said.

Mosienyane urged the Turkish delegates to use the Special Economic Zones and to tap into opportunities existing in the water, health and education sectors “as these are the best sectors for private joint ventures.”