Gaborone — Botswana like other countries around the globe will be greatly affected by global Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows projected to reduce by between 30 and 40 percent in 2020/2021.
Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) chief executive officer, Mr Keletsositse Olebile said this at a media brief on COVID-19 in Gaborone on May 25.
Mr Olebile said projections, as presented by the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD), posed stiff competition, and therefore, as an agency responsible for representing Botswana in promoting local opportunities, they should be visible to ensure that the country was considered when investors made key decisions.
He said the report indicated that the impact would be cross-cutting in real capital expenditure in general, particularly in green fields, investment expansions as well as measures and acquisitions, among others.
However, he noted that BITC had learnt a lot from the COVID-19 pandemic as there were some emerging sectors of opportunities aligned to it.
Such sectors, he said included those in e-commerce because some businesses were conducted online, designing and promoting digital technology, healthcare and bio-diversity as well as renewable energy and agri-business which, he said was best aligned to Botswana.
He also said as BITC, they would be working with Botswana embassies using other communication mediums instead of travelling, to pursue origination of investment to the country.
"We will also be engaging our global strategic partners, chambers of commerce to ensure we originate investment," he said.
On other issues, he said BITC was working towards shifting more towards facilitating domestic investment.
He said they would be assisting local businesses to identify opportunities that could be jointly pursued going forward to expand their businesses.
He said one of the interventions would be development of local value chains to stimulate production for Batswana.
Mr Olebile further said BITC had realised that most businesses did not survive because the rest of the value chains were not well positioned for their type of investment.
Meanwhile, Mr Olebile said BITC would be conducting surveys in local businesses post COVID-19 in an effort to align their responses to their business needs.
So far, he said in the recent survey conducted among local businesses during the lockdown to establish how the COVID-19 had affected businesses, 99 per cent of them suggested the need for government to put in place a stimulus programme post COVID-19.
That, he said was because most businesses could not survive the lockdown, even essential ones, because of various reasons such as difficulties in accessing markets due to new conditions and some staff welfare issues.
Source : BOPA