FDI Key to Economic Diversification

| November 25, 2014 | 0 Comments

President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama says there is need to pay special attention to alignment of the Industrial Policy with the attraction of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in order to accelerate economic diversification efforts.

Officiating at the BOCCIM National Business Conference in Maun, President Khama said FDI played an important role in the economic development strategy because of the multiplier effect it had on job creation and transfer of intellectual capital and technology. In addition, he said, it contributed to other important objectives such as economic diversification and industrialisation.

“As government, we intend to leave no stone unturned to ensure that Botswana becomes one of the top destinations in Africa for global investors. It is thus encouraging to note that Botswana was rated the best investment destination in the world this year by the US Foreign Policy Magazine that evaluated 112 countries based on the Baseline Profitability Index (BPI)”, he added.

President Khama noted that it was imperative and opportune for the local business community to ensure that it drove the economy to higher levels by providing a conducive environment for industries to thrive and thereby catalyse economic growth.

He said future drivers of the economic growth would now be based on identifying new exports markets as well as widening the range of export products in line with the new Industrial Development Policy, which focused on import substitution and export-led growth.

He said government would continue to redouble its efforts to attract in FDI in the manufacturing sector because of its potential to create permanent skilled jobs. He said the sector could also prove crucial in developing the next generation of competitive Batswana workers with industry relevant skills.

President Khama said a significant portion of FDI had by and large flowed into the mining and financial services sectors noting that was a welcome development which also called for prudence in ensuring that FDI flows were diversified to guarantee that other key economic sectors such as hospitality, tourism, construction, information, communication technology (ICT) and manufacturing also benefit.

“If we do so, we would be ensuring that local firms in these sectors also grow and become globally competitive in line with the theme of the conference,” he added.

He also reminded the audience about the recent concluded European Union (EU)Southern African Development Community (SADC) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) which offered a guaranteed market for local exports.

In addition, he said the extension of the African Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA) by 15 years also offered the country quota and duty free access to the US market.

President Khama also revealed that the recent relocation of diamond aggregation and sales to Gaborone as well as the development of the diamond cutting and polishing industry bore testimony of government quest to diversify the industrial base.

He said the global competitiveness of the diamond industry value-chain could still benefit greatly from an improvement in productivity and applauded the Botswana Chamber of Mines for their initiative, ‘Business Development Project’ which would support and nurture participation of local manufacturers and service providers through consolidated purchasing of inputs for the mining sector.

President Khama said the initiative, which was launched in October this year, would further promote FDI through attraction of foreign firms that manufacture mining equipment that in is not available locally.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: General

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