Botswana Investment and Trade Centre has vowed to continue promoting investment into the country, a development which will further enhance economic growth and ultimately create the much-needed employment. Attracting investors also go a long way in helping Botswana move from a middle to high income status, an endeavour which BITC strongly supports. By any measure, the government-owned Investment Promotion Agency has managed to successfully perform this function in the past ten years despite impediments.

BITC, which is a strategic government institution, is well aware that the investment promotion and attraction landscape is highly competitive. It is even more complex for a landlocked and developing economy like Botswana, which relies heavily on mining. Going up against developed and mature markets in the investment and promotion space is a tough job, which BITC has largely managed to successfully perform due to its strategic and forward-looking team.

To beat other peers in the game, BITC has formulated unique strategies which have over the last decade ensured they meet most of their annual targets. In performing its investment promotion and attraction activities, the institution targets certain sectors which are high yield and has potential to create many more jobs.

In an effort to become a leading high-performance Investment Promotion Agency, BITC has ensured its investment promotion activities are leveraged on research which enables it to identify and profile growth sectors, and create strategic go-to market value propositions that will attract investors to the country. The Agency, which is led by Kelotsositse Olebile as the Chief Executive Officer, places great emphasis on pre-existing strategic national priorities that are focused on delivering economic growth, development and diversification.

Some of the critical sectors that BITC looks closely into, include, but not limited to, mining and energy (beneficiation), agriculture, education, transport and logistics, tourism, manufacturing, financial business services among others. Investment promotion and attraction, involves traveling and interacting with prospective investors. While the economic recession of 2018/19 affected investment promotion, perhaps the biggest challenge in the past decade of BITC existence has been the COVID-19, primarily because it led to the imposition of travel restrictions.

In the past few years that the pandemic has ravaged the globe, BITC did not sit on its laurels as it came with effective ways of enticing investors. “Despite the challenges of lockdowns and extreme social distancing, BITC continued to engage and reach out to investors utilising various digital

platforms,” said the Agency. The results for BITC speaks for themselves. Available data shows that the investment pipeline of companies which were accredited during the 2020/21 financial year, had a combined investment value of over P20 billion and over 10 000 employment opportunities.

BITC also continues to facilitate potential investors in their exploratory and scoping visits by developing comprehensive bespoke itineraries to enable them to gather all the essential information required to make investment decisions. There are a number of incentives which BITC facilitated companies enjoy. There are no foreign exchange controls in Botswana. Companies are also not restricted when it comes to business ownership.

In addition, BITC assisted firms can negotiate tax rate up to ten years maximum. The above incentives are not exhaustive. Companies who have been accredited under the International Financial Services Centre also enjoy certain incentives such as 15% corporate tax exemption from Capital Gains Tax and Withholding Tax Treaties Access to a growing network of Double Taxation Avoidance Treaties, Denomination of share capital in any major convertible currency among others.

Over the ten years of existence, BITC has managed to attract major firms into Botswana who have become household brands that have created thousands of jobs. Some of the companies include Kemtek (Pty) Limited, Manufacturers of ethic hair and skin care products and perfumes, Global

Lubricants, Botswana’s first lubricant and grease manufacturing facility based in Francistown, Lithoflex Inks, Sole manufacturer of high quality Flexographic and Lithographic inks in Botswana, Chloride Exide, A battery manufacturing plant, Cheetah Cement Botswana, Kromberg and Schubert, an auto component manufacturing company, Selibe Phikwe Citrus, among others, all of which continue to enjoy BITC aftercare services.