China, SA and USA among leading foreign investors
BITC CEO: Keletsositse Olebile

Botswana Investment Trade Centre (BITC), which is tasked with attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), says investors who have set up businesses here were mostly from China, South Africa and the United States of America (USA).

Responding to Voice Money queries this week, BITC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) KeletsositseOlebile said other leading investors include India, Pakistan and various European Union (EU) countries.

He revealed investments were mainly in sectors like manufacturing, mining, healthcare, tourism and hospitality as well as diamond beneficiation, resulting in an accumulative FDI of P3.168 billion.

Olebile explained there are a number of factors BITC consider when assisting investors set-up business in Botswana.

These include the project’s viability and funding capacity as well as the number of jobs it will create.

They also look at whether the project is consistent with BITC priority sectors, which are aligned to Vision 2036 and its socio-impact.

Last week, the agency together with the Ministry of Health and Wellness, undertook missions to Milan, Italy, and Warsaw, Poland to visit two companies for a due diligence check.

Negotiations are said to be at an advanced stage, with both enterprises set to invest in Botswana’s health sector.

On how President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s frequent trips abroad – said to be predominantly aimed at luringinvestment – have paid dividends in the last 12 months, Olebile replied,“Investing by its nature is a process.”

“The President, which we greatly appreciate, has led from the front and assisted at the highest level to assure foreign enterprises that we as a country are open to business.”

Olebile says the President has also ‘re-energized’ the country’s economic relations with the East and the Middle East, which are liquid markets as far as attracting FDI is concerned.

Furthermore, Olebile noted visa restrictions have also been relaxed – a development he stressed BITC warmly welcome.

“By decentralizing visa processing to embassies and making us as a country issue visas on arrival, this makes Botswana more accessible,” he said, adding Masisi’s anti-corruption crusade bodes well for foreign investment attraction as investors naturally abhor corruption and prefer to set up in corrupt-free markets.