Expo 2020: Botswana President Eyes UAE as Gateway to Boosting Multilateral Trade with Middle East

News Highlights

(1).         UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, welcomed strengthening and enhancing trade exchange.

(2).         President of the Republic of Botswana His Excellency Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi welcomes UAE to invest in lucrative Botswana

(3).         Total value of non-oil trade between the two nations reached US$2.5 billion.

(4).         Botswana has regional trade agreements which benefit businesses.

(5).         Botswana is the only country in the African region that enjoys an “A-Rating”

DUBAI, 15th March 2022:  The president of the Republic of Botswana His Excellency 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.  H.E 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.

The president of the Republic of Botswana His Excellency Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi

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

The President of Botswana H.E. 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 U.S. markets, corporate tax is only 15% 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%, zero corporate tax under a Development Approval Order, industrial relations are well established and amicable, and sustainable low tax environment.

H.E. Dr. Thani Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, while welcoming the president of Botswana H.E. 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 US$2.5 billion, reflecting 85% growth compared to 2020 and 80% 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 H.E. Dr Thani.

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

The speakers gave deliberations about the transformation Botswana is currently undergoing. Botswana aims to be the centre of finance and trade in the African region as it has an established financial system that supports investors. Across the board financial inclusion is the cornerstone of the country’s financial strategy and our economy. It builds industries to help increase capacities. We are continuously upgrading our systems to attract foreign investors. We are further strengthening our Fintech, consumer and data protection systems, special remitting privileges, and opening to more and more public-private partnerships.

Botswana’s finance minister Hon. Peggy Serame said that Botswana is the only country in the region that enjoys an “A-Rating” from the rating agencies. She invited investors to Botswana, to witness it and explore more opportunities.

Earlier this month, Botswana Investment and Trade Centre organised two seminars in Abu Dhabi. “Botswana Agribusiness Seminar” on March 8th shed light on pertinent issues in agribusiness that affect Botswana’s food security and investment opportunities. The second seminar on March 10th “Botswana Mining and Minerals Business” addressing economic growth, development and job creation highlighted the lucrative investment potential in Botswana’s natural resources.

Botswana is a promising destination for both business and leisure, and today boasts some of the world’s most pristine safari experiences, hotels, entertainment facilities and malls.

The Botswana Pavilion, located in the Mobility District at Expo 2020 Dubai, continues to welcome and attract businesses and families to explore the country’s natural beauty and a host of opportunities for everyone.

Botswana Facts & Figures:

Official NameRepublic of Botswana
CapitalGaborone
GovernmentMulti-party democracy
RegionSouthern Africa neighbouring South Africa, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Population2.3 million (2020)
Official LanguageEnglish
National LanguageSetswana
CurrencyPula
Area224,607 square miles
IndustriesMining, Tourism, Agriculture, Manufacturing, ICT.
ProductsDiamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore, silver, textiles, technology, beef, maize, sorghum, millet

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