BITC look within for investment opportunities
In response to the economic troubles caused by the pandemic globally and in the face of dwindling foreign investment, Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has decided to look for investment opportunities locally.
When addressing the media on Tuesday this week, BITC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Keletsositse Olebile said due to the effects of Covid-19, the country was likely to attract low foreign investment.
Because of this, the Centre took a deliberate step to focus on domestic investment, with Olebile revealing the strategy is already paying dividends.
“We have developed and started implementing the domestic investment strategy which has proved fruitful,” he declared, adding BITC has also developed a business retention and expansion programme as part of the response to the pandemic.
In addition, Olebile revealed BITC is leveraging on strategic partnerships as well as digitization of key processes.
Meanwhile, despite the difficulties brought by the pandemic, Olebile said BITC has remained resilient, attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) valued at P1.4 billion in the past year.
“Over the two years, performance was slightly over 80 percent of target with a slight decline in 2020/2021. The performance reflects some level of resilience to the Covid-19 situation as the notable achievements realized over the year were a result of investment decisions made in prior years before the pandemic,” he explained.
Breaking down the numbers, the CEO said the value of Domestic Investment at Expansions amounted to P957.3 million. The total value of export earnings stood at P3 billion with two new products being exported, although Olebile did not disclose what they are.
The number of citizen-owned enterprises entering the export market was two while 2, 518 new jobs were created.
Highlighting their achievements over the past year, Olebile said BITC facilitated the establishment of the largest circus plantation in the country in the SPEDU region.
“Over 90, 000 circus trees have been planted and the first harvest is expected in 2023/2024 with over 1, 000 jobs expected,” revealed Olebile.
Further, BITC facilitated the expansion of Kromberg and Schubert through the allocation of land for the construction of 7, 000 square meters factory to manufacture wire harnesses for Mercedes Benz. The expansion is expected to create around 800 jobs.
According to the BITC CEO, the Centre also facilitated the establishment of a state-of-the-art motor dealership in Kazungula through assistance with land allocation.
He said the dealership will service Botswana’s tourism industry, the local market as well as neighbouring countries such as Zambia, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.