The Botswana Investment Trade Centre (BITC) is feeling bullish about its performance in 2012, having exceeded its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) target by BWP1.037 billion set by its former incarnation as BEDIA. During the 2011/2012 financial year, BEDIA realised a total of BWP1.4 billion FDI against a target of BWP363 million.
During 2012, BEDIA recorded the highest investment and employment figures since its inception. This has been attributed to an aggressive strategy followed by its Business Development team.
The 2012 annual report stated, “The investment realized is from companies as they started the conversion processes, while others are already fully operational.”
BEDIA undertook a deliberate action to encourage expansion in domestic investment by local companies.
“The strategy moving forward is to continue monitoring and following up on the investment leads to ensure that projects on the pipe line are converted to operational status.”
The IFSC aggregated capital investment by accredited companies for the year 2011/12 stood at P13 billion, with a combined revenue of P593 million.
In 2011/2012, tax revenue increased to P29 million compared to P14 million in 2010/11, signalling increased profitability, attributed to economic recovery from the 2008/9 global financial crisis slowdown.
“BITC is making good progress in attracting FDI to Botswana and lot more still can be achieved amidst facing a competitive environment for FDI attraction,” said Letsebe Sejoe, Chief Operations Officer at BITC.
The annual report demonstrated that during the 2011/2012 fiscal period, exports increased considerably due to improved market access in the region, especially in Zimbabwe, Namibia and Zambia. The generated export revenue amounted to P653.3 million against an annual target of P310million, indicating an increase of more than 50%.
Botswana has managed to gain significant growth in trade with partners in the SADC region. An area of notable growth is in export sales of salt and salt products, with 74% of local production exported to South Africa.
Significant capital investment during 2011/2012 comprised diverse sectors of the economy namely: manufacturing of steel pipes, farming, mining, tourism, property development, ICT services, renewable energy, steel and plastic recycling.
Looking ahead, Sejoe indicated that there is an urgent need for the country to improve efficiency in business activities in order to improve competitiveness and increase overall FDI. He added that BITC aspires to reach maximum FDI targets, which would significantly contribute to the country’s GDP.
Source: Sunday Standard