Gaborone — Botswana's key priority is to achieve an export led economy that will create sustaible jobs, Vice President, Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi, has said.
Mr Masisi said when officiating at the 12th edition of Global Expo Botswana 2017, themed: "Unlocking Opportunities for Economic Growth" on Tuesday.
"As spoused in our long term vision, commonly known as, Vision 2036, and our NDP 11, this can only be achieved through development of sectors and industries that will drive sustainable growth and diversification," he said.
To further achieve this, he called for coordinated efforts and contributions from sectors of the economy, 'particularly where we have comparative advantages, such as: africulture, manufacturing services, resource beneficiation, energy, tourism and the creative industries.'
He urged investors to invest in Botswana, saying the country continued to review potential growth sectors and improve its investment climate, as these remained a high priority.
"It will continue remaining a high priority and we will continue to accelerate the rate of response in Botswana," he added.
The expo that has attracted over 220 exhibitors and delegates from Europe, Asia and the rest of Africa, vice president said provided an excellent opportunity for local business community to meet and develop strategic business partnerships with attending international visitors from across the world.
Through this annual premier business to business exposition, he said foreign and local businesses also gained valuable insight that would optimise business sales, efficiency and networks with other businesses and consumer product enders.
This, he said "maximises their exposure in the market and the support that provides an opportunity to build new business relationships, generates significant new leads with difficult to reach business decision makers and introduce new products to the market place."
Botswana, he said was also great for investment as it had good market opportunities, due to its destinct and central geographical positioning within Southern Africa, which placed it as a gateway to regional and global markets, as well as value chains.
"Therefore, as an investment hub for Southern Africa, Botswana provides the greatest opportunity for companies that wish to re-establish their presence in Africa, "he added.
Regarding sustainable market opportunities, Mr Masisi said Botswana had entered into bilateral and multi-lateral trade agreements aimed at opening markets for the country's manufactured products, regionally and globally.
Additionally, Mr Masisi said Botswana was also a member of Southern Africa Customs Union and SADC, which gave access to a market of around 62 million consumers and 280 million people.
Along with other African countries, he said Botswana also enjoyed access to the US market for over 6500 product lines and had a duty and quota free access into the European Union market, 'which literally means you can manufacture and export any product into the EU. '
Beyond market opportunities, he said the country also had a positive policy and regulatory environment for doing busines, as per the Easy of Doing Business report for 2017, which ranked Botswana as number 71 out of 190 countries above countries, such as South Africa and China.
The African Investment Index 2016, he said also ranked Botswana as the most attractive destination for investment, flowing into the African continent, whilst the 2017/2018 Global Competitiveness report ranked Botswana as number 63 out of 137 countries.
With regards to legal instruments needed to be in place, Mr Masisi promised there would be a significant improvement in the easy of doing business in Botswana in the near future.
Meanwhile, the 5th Botswana Investment and Trade Conference, which runs parallel to the expo, has also attracted international speakers from across the globe to share experiences on topics, such as foreign direct investment attraction, agriculture, agri business and financial services. BOPA
Source : BOPA