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MITI misses job creation target

Refilwe Motube
MINISTER: Peggy Serame

A total of 10 951 jobs were created last year against a target of 11 400 that was set.

This was revealed by the Minister of Investment, Trade, and Industry, Peggy Serame during a media briefing on Tuesday.

Highlighting her ministry’s achievements in the past year, Serame noted that the ministry was able to attract a total of P773.56 million in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) between April 2020 and December 2020.

This was short of the annual target of P2.3 billion in FDI while Domestic Investment amounted to P1, 816 billion, still short of the annual target of P3.5 billion.

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Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Serame said the ministry departments, as well as parastatals, were also not able to achieve their targets having facilitated just 532 start-ups against a target of 1, 015.

“In response to the COVID-19 impact on businesses, short and long-term interventions were drawn to relief and sustain businesses during the pandemic. A wage subsidy and other packages to maintain operations, preserve jobs and sustain businesses were introduced”, said Serame.

The Minister added that these packages included the issuance of economic packages to jumpstart businesses that were hard hit by the pandemic across all sectors and the provision of a 50 percent grant on wages to facilitate job retention.

“In November 2020 the government introduced a long-term Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan to extend financial support to businesses to assist the revival of the economy,” stated the Minister.

In this regard, Serame said P700 million was appropriated under the Industry Support Facility (ISF) under the ministry where Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) received P100 million, while the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) and Botswana Development Corporation each received P300 million.

Meanwhile, Serame has revealed that the development of the E-commerce strategy is currently being finalized in a bid to boost economic growth and facilitate the achievement of socio-economic growth and raise the country’s competitiveness in the global economy.

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“The ministry received a Final Draft Strategy Report in November 2020 after which a National Validation Workshop was held and comments are being incorporated.”

The Strategy is expected to be launched next month during the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) E-commerce week.

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