Government Supports Foreign Investment

| May 11, 2015

Government is committed to job creation as one of its major economic creation priority area, the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs Mr Edwin Batshu has said.

Speaking after the tour and appreciation of Flo – tek manufacturing company in Lobatse, on Thursday (May 7) Minister Batshu said it is in this quest that government would not stand in way for the growth of foreign investor based companies who are in a job creation mission.

He said research has shown that close to 150 000 Batswana are unemployed and therefore the need for investors to assist in employment increase drive. He said government stands committed to support foreign investors whose growth in operation results in increasing the country’s employment rate.

As minister playing a facilitative role in issuance of permits of who comes into the country and who does not, Mr Batshu said his ministry would not stand in the way for investors who come in to create jobs and increase employment rate for Batswana .

“We cannot stand on the way for such investors who are on an economic growth path as I am aware that we cannot grow this country alone, in fact we are where we are because of investors,” he said.

He talked of the need to observe the localisation policy that requires that when bringing in some experts from outside the country, there needs to be some locals to understudy the particular expert in the field, for skills transfer.

He said there was however need not to suffocate the operations of some important operations like the ones he had toured. He however emphasised that the country would not offer a permit to any expatriate whose skill is available in the country.

The minister pledged his support for the company and offered his time to the Flo-tek management to knock at his door whenever they need assistance or are aggrieved in any way.

The Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry Mr Sadique Kebonang who had accompanied Mr Batshu solicited for government support for companies like Flo- tek saying such investors have shown confidence in Lobatse as a place of operation.

Mr Kebonang who is also Lobatse Member of Parliament said it is through companies such as Flo- tek that the country has foreign direct investment as they export their products to other countries in the region.

He said as a result of their operation, such companies keep money circulating locally through tax payments thus boosting the country’s economy as well.

He said he was impressed by the company’s operation especially that it is a big export plant, a company that has proven that manufacturing can actually happen in Botswana and therefore needed government support.

He said it would be a pleasure for such companies to keep operating in the country and especially remain located in Lobatse, especially that they are investors with the drive to empower locals.

Flo- tek managing director Mr Patel said his company was the second largest pipe manufacturing organisation in Southern Africa and comes as one of the largest employer in the country.

Having started in 1998, with only 50 employees, Mr Patel said Flo – tek Manufacturing Company now prides itself in employing close to 450 locals with only close to 20 non-citizens.

He decried skills mismatch challenges that the company is currently facing as there is no local college that offers courses on some of the operations the company does. He said so far they have had an employee who has been offered a work permit which had expired and had not been renewed.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: General

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