BITC exceeds targets
Despite Covid-19 impacting heavily on global trade for much of the last two years, Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has exceeded most of its targets.
During the 2021/2022 financial year, the parastatal punched beyond its weight in areas of export earnings, domestic investment, foreign direct investment as well as job creation.
Through its involvement in export development, BITC achieved export earnings (income from goods manufactured locally and sold outside the country) of P3.84 billion against an initial target of P3.6 billion.
As for foreign direct investment, the centre blew its P1.3 billion target out the water, managing to bring P2.37 billion worth of international investment to Botswana.
Efforts to see local companies growing and ploughing their profits back into the economy are bearing fruits too, with a milestone of P2.05 billion in domestic investment achieved (the target was P1.50 billion).
Though Covid-19 forced numerous entities to close resulting in job losses, BITC surpassed their expectations in job creation, creating 5, 668 jobs against an admittedly low target of 2, 000.
It means in the ten years they have been operating, BITC have created 29, 126 jobs, attracted P15.24 billion worth of foreign direct investment, P13.14 billion of domestic investment and export earnings of P23.25 billion.
Updating the media and stakeholders on Tuesday, BITC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Keletsositse Olebile said overall they have scored 89.7 percent in corporate performance.
“These are figures where BITC had a role in facilitation of investments, it’s not for the whole broader economy. But in terms of job creation we relaxed our target a bit because we were considering the adverse impact of Covid-19 pandemic. However, across various measures investment appetite for Botswana is quite favourable,” he said.
Desperate to build on this success, Olebile said they would double their efforts to maximize returns going forward.
“We are working on converting leads generated from Dubai 2020 Global Exposition such that we lure those possible investors here as well as explore new exports market. Intensifying export promotion to grow our export earnings is a major priority as well as improving domestic investment drive. There is a perception that BITC is focused only on foreign direct investment but that’s not true, there is a lot of liquidity and earnings generated locally. It is in our interest to make sure that all these profits are kept in Botswana as we create more opportunities for these companies to re-invest,” explained Olebile.
Established in 2011, BITC commenced operations in 2012 with a core mandate of driving investment, promoting trade – particularly Botswana’s exports – global market research and business intelligence and nation branding.
Success stories include the establishment of Botswana Trade Portal, Global Expo Botswana and #Pusha Bw initiatives which promote uptake and consumption of locally manufactured goods and services.