Botswana invites Indian Investments

The two governments are also signing two agreements in the fields of science and technology and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) the same day

June 18, 2010 11:48 IST | India Infoline News Service

Even as Indian industry establishes larger footprints in southern Africa, Botswana is making a strong case for Indian companies to invest in a variety of business sectors in the country. Making a strong pitch for Indian investments, Lt. General Mompati S Merafhe, Vice President, Botswana, said at an interactive session organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi,  today , that “the event is a wake up call for us to put more effort and emphasis on exploring and utilising investment opportunities to their full potential.”

To strengthen the bilateral business engagements, Lt. Gen Merafhe will open the BEDIA liaison office in Mumbai on June 18. “This office will serve as a one-stop information centre for all your enquires on trade and investment in Botswana, and it will also help in cementing the foundation for long lasting commercial relations between our two countries,” he said.

The two governments are also signing two agreements in the fields of science and technology and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) the same day. Lt. Gen Merafhe mentioned that the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) in Botswana and National Small Industries Corporation in India have just signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to facilitate cooperation between SMEs in both countries.

Earlier, Gurjit Singh, Joint Secretary (E&SA), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, said in his introductory remarks that there is significant scope for building India-Botswana bilateral trade ties on the plank of strong complementarity. He said that in terms of investments, both Indian government and private sector companies could play a key role in leveraging the opportunities in Botswana in the banking and financial services sector.

Favor Marebole, Director, BEDIA, in his presentation focused attention on investment opportunities in Botswana in the areas of physical infrastructure development, mining operations, diamond beneficiation, rail infrastructure, and agriculture, among a host of other promising sectors. Stating that Botswana imports the bulk of its energy and power supplies, Mr Marebola said that Indian companies could consider investing in these areas and take advantage of the business opportunities that they present.

He said that BEDIA will proactively support Indian companies in forging joint ventures. The business body is engaged in investment promotion, building ‘Brand Botswana’, export promotion, and policy advocacy. BEDIA also facilitates the provision of ‘land and property’ for overseas companies investing in Botswana. Letsebe Sejoe, Senior Business Development Executive, Botswana International Financial Services (BIFS), said that Botswana is an attractive destination for business process outsourcing (BPO) businesses as the country has the infrastructure, financial and human resources to support this industry.

He said that BIFS will serve as the intermediary for investments not only in Botswana but also other southern African countries. Dr Budzanani Tacheba, Principal Project officer, Botswana Innovation Hub , said that Indian private equity, venture capital funds and other investment arms would see significant opportunities in funding innovative businesses in Botswana.

Botswana Tourism Organisation also made a strong pitch for Indian investments in the country’s designated wildlife development areas. These could take the form of joint ventures with local partners who have been given the land rights to develop the sanctuaries and wild life eco-systems.

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