Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has announced the employment of a more focused and targeted investment promotion strategy, to increase employment levels, value and demand for investment locally.
“If we are to be successful in investment promotion, we cannot try to be everything to everybody, as a result we need to narrow down the sectors we pursue and need to be very specific with regards to what those sectors involve.” This was a statement made by the Chief Executive Officer, Letsebe Sejoe as he further announced that BITC selected potential interest in sectors to include agriculture, services, manufacturing and resource beneficiation.
Sejoe says BITC will be very specific in terms of where the opportunities are within the different sectors so as to fully exploit the offerings.“Our mission is to cultivate a more focused investor targeting investment promotion model which will help in identifying specific markets and companies for targeting foreign direct investment. This will enable access to corporate networks in targeted and prioritised markets,” he maintains.
Their interest in agriculture is in the leather and beef value chain as they will attract investment from countries like Argentina, Brazil, Italy, India, and China. Beneficiation will be specifically sourced from Soda Ash and Coal to attract investors in countries like South Africa, Australia, China, India and Canada. As for manufacturing, BITC intends to factor in Automotive Components while Services will direct specifically to the Transport and Logistics and ICT.
Nonetheless, with the present state of agriculture locally which only occupies one percent of the entire local investment sector, Sejoe is of the belief that agriculture holds a lot of potential for growth. “Agriculture needs to grow if we are to foster food security, employment and other benefits that come along with it.”
The financial and business services, transport and logistics occupy 39 percent while manufacturing and property take up to 39 percent of the overall investment sector at the moment. Sejoe however is apprehensive of the fact that the concentration and quality of most capital investment has been tied to capitally intensive sectors such as mining, resulting in lowered levels of employment opportunities. “The predicament is that it does not bring with it a commensurate level of employment which is visible at the drop in value of the total employment created this year.”
Employment created for the years 2015/16 has remained depressed at 1703 against a target that was set at 2530 following a total of 3313 employment created in the years 2014/15.