Gaborone — President Lt Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama returned from Valetta, Malta on October 7 after a three-day state visit which also saw him proceeding to Washington DC to participate in Conservation International meeting.
President Khama left for Malta last week at the invitation of his counterpart, President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca of Malta.
The President was welcomed back at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport by among others, the Permanent Secretary to the President Mr Carter Morupisi, DISS director general Mr Isaac Kgosi, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mr Gaeimelwe Goitsemang and deputy Botswana Defence Force commander Major General Gotsileene Morake.
The main purpose of the visit was to strengthen the existing relations between Botswana and Malta, which were established in 2005 and also afford the two countries opportunity to explore potential areas of cooperation in fields of trade and investment, youth empowerment, the fight against cybercrime as well as tourism, among others.
Other areas of fostering collaboration included human resource development, youth empowerment and development as well as cultural exchanges.
While in Malta during a state dinner hosted on his behalf by his counterpart, President Khama was impressed by Malta's high economic growth and social progress.
In this regard, President Khama said Botswana considered Malta as a strategic partner in her development efforts and that Malta's advancement in areas such as Information Technology and the service sector provided an opportunity for deepening the two countries' collaboration.
In 2012, Botswana public officers benefited from various benchmarking exercises including the development of a data protection act which was used to develop a data protection legislation.
The two countries also signed an agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes and income.
The agreement will strengthen economic and commercial ties between the two countries to boost reciprocal investments which will lead to increased job opportunities for the people of the two nations.
Malta established herself as a highly-industrialised innovation-driven economy that Botswana, which aims to transform from an upper middle income country to a high income economy, could draw valuable lessons from.
During the visit, President Khama was joined by Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Minister Thapelo Olopeng of youth empowerment, sport and culture development, Minister Kitso Mokaila of transport and communications as well as senior government officials.
Source : BOPA