• Domestic investment strategy already paying off in F/town • BITC prepares for participation in Dubai World Expo

Botswana Investment and Trade Centre Chief Executive, Keletsositse Olebile delivering his speech during media engagement session in Gaborone on 15 August 2018. (Pic: Tshekiso Tebalo/ Press Photo)

With the flow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Africa expected to contract by 30  to 40 percent and the stringent  travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC)  has adopted a new strategy geared at advancing domestic investment.

The strategy is in response to the current economic meltdown that is being experienced worldwide due the pandemic.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) added its voice to the view that international travel will remain difficult this year and into the first quarter of 2022.

In anticipation of the predicted decline in FDI, BITC’s domestic investment strategy is steadily paying off to businesses in Francistown and surrounding areas. Due to its ongoing aftercare and support to the existing clients, expansions have grown from P93.25 million to P107 million.

According to the Mayor of Francistown, Godisang Radisigo, these expansions of local businesses have generated 150 jobs. “BITC is on the ground and is on a serious drive to get Francistown companies to be accredited so they can have full access to a buffet of services offered,” the Mayor said at the ongoing full council session.

“A total of 20 Francistown-based companies have been accredited while 18 are pending. A total of 85 applications have been processed through the BITC Francistown office.”

Meanwhile, BITC will participate in a six-month long World Expo in Dubai in n an effort to generate contacts with investors who are eager to expand their business to new markets after the pandemic.  BITC believes the World Expo is an opportunity to sell Botswana’s value proposition and readying the country for new opportunities availed by COVID-19.

Meanwhile, BITC this week flighted an expression of interest for the World Expo slated for next year March. Selected local companies are expected to showcase capability for innovation, research, science and technology in products and services with potential to impact the global market.

It is anticipated that Botswana’s participation in the massive expo will secure investment and export opportunities for local products and services. It is also expected to promote Botswana as a destination of choice for start ups.  The Dubai expo will give Botswana a platform to build partnerships, benchmark and grow the national brand.

Over 192 countries are expected to participate in the World Expo that is forecast to attract over 25 million visitors.