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Botswana president eyes UAE as a gateway to boost trade with ME


Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana (right) during the event.

The president of the Republic of Botswana Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi said Botswana has an established base for multilateral investments into several industries, especially, mining, tourism and food. The country is currently recovering and emerging from the adverse economic impact of Covid-19. But Botswana emerged as a resilient country. Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi said Botswana has regional trade agreements which benefit businesses. We want foreign investors to succeed with our strong ecosystem for them to thrive.

President Dr Mokgweetsi was addressing the gathering of senior investors and key officials from government and private sector entities across Botswana and the UAE at the Botswana Investment and Trade Conference held at the Ritz Carlton DIFC Dubai.

Participating dignitaries included Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Mmusi Kgafela, Botswana’s Minister of Investment Trade and Industry, Peggy Serame, Botswana’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Keletsositse Olebile, CEO of Botswana Investment and Trade Centre, along with Dr Toshokologo Kganetsano, Deputy Governor of Bank of Botswana, Cross Kgosiidle, Managing Director of Botswana Development Corporation, Steven Bogatsu, CEO of First National Bank of Botswana, Andrew Fening Okai, Group CEO of Letsgo Holdings and Naseem Banu Lahri, Managing Director of Lucara Diamond Corp, Botswana.

The President of Botswana Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, said: “I am overwhelmed by the success of Expo 2020 Dubai which created the perfect place for us to showcase opportunities in Botswana for investors to explore and exploit them. It will eventually grow them and our economies. Our ministries and companies are here and finding new roadways of connecting with investors.”

“We have an absolute addiction to the rule of law in the country. It ensures not only the protection of investments but to thrive, as we are signatories to a number of regional and international conventions. We have political stability. We are friends to many countries and we have no enemies. It provides a perfect environment for foreign investors. Therefore, I invite all investors to come to Botswana and witness it

Botswana offers a profitable, stable, secure and sustainable investment environment. According to Botswana Investment and Trade Centre, the Southern African country offers general and sector-specific investment incentives, no foreign exchange controls, the United States-Africa Growth & Opportunity Act allows new opportunities for duty-free and quota-free access to US markets, corporate tax is only 15 per cent for manufacturing and IFSC companies, duty-free and quota-free access to the EU market, duty-free access to South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland, preferential access to markets of 14 Southern African countries, low personal income tax, the highest bracket is 25 per cent, zero corporate tax under a Development Approval Order, industrial relations are well established and amicable, and sustainable low tax environment.

Dr Thani Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, while welcoming the president of Botswana Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, Botswana ministers and government officials, said: “The UAE and Botswana share a longstanding friendship and partnership, underscored by deep trade and investment ties. In 2021, for example, the total value of non-oil trade between the two nations reached $2.5 billion, reflecting 85 per cent growth compared to 2020 and 80 per cent growth compared to 2019.”

“Strategically located at the heart of Southern Africa, Botswana is today a globally competitive tourism destination, boasting rich natural resources and investment potential. The Botswana Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai shows us how strategic partnerships have helped the country accelerate the movement of goods, ideas and wealth”, concluded Dr Thani.

A panel discussion focused on inclusive growth into innovation areas of Botswana’s economy. The panel was headed by Peggy Serame, Botswana’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development. Panellists included Dr Toshokologo Kganetsano, Deputy Governor of Bank of Botswana, Cross Kgosiidle, Managing Director of Botswana Development Corporation, Steven Bogatsu and the CEO of First National Bank of Botswana.

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