The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) reportedly registered P377 million of investment expansions during the 2015/16 financial year. This is being attributed to its investor aftercare programme, which encourages companies to reinvest locally.
FDI attracted through BITC in 2015 amounted to P1.493 billion compared to P1.489 billion the previous year, while domestic investment amounted to P1.253 billion compared to P238.4 million the previous year. In 2015, BITC further facilitated exports valued at P2.2 billion. As part of the government investment promotion strategy, BITC has been attracting further investment in areas such as cargo and logistics, beef, coal and soda ash auto components, ICT and leather production.
BITC says moving forward, the recent signing of the EU – Southern African Development Community (SADC) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) has enhanced its potential as a centre for trade and investment. The EPA accords duty and quota-free market access for Botswana’s exports to the EU market. Under this Agreement, BITC infant industries can be protected against EU imports from established industries. The Agreement also provides for transitional safeguard measures for Botswana’s sensitive products.
To support industrial development, provision has been made for the application of export taxes on up to eight products from Botswana for a period not exceeding 12 years from entry into force of the Agreement. Additionally, Botswana industries have been also accorded the opportunity to source raw materials and intermediate inputs from African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, as well as EU Overseas Countries and Territories.
The Agreement further supports the objectives of the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development. The government is considering the enactment of an Investment Facilitation Law, which will establish an investment code for Botswana and stipulate service standards and turnaround times for facilitating investors.
What Does BITC’s Business Facilitation Services Centre Do?
BITC launched the Business Facilitation Services Centre at the BITC Head Office, Central Business District (CBD) on 18 February 2014. This Business Facilitation Services Centre was set up to provide professional services to both new and existing foreign and local investors. It’s is instrumental to BITC’s investor relations management; enabling qualifying investors in the manufacturing and selected services sectors to secure government clearances and approval with ease for business start-up.
BITC has over the years, engaged various key stakeholders particularly those that have a complimentary mandate in attracting investment to Botswana. Through this cordial relationship, BITC signed Service Level Agreements with various government departments with a view to helps expedite the processing of foreign and local investor requests in a timely and efficient manner.
The BITC serves as a one-stop-shop, which allows investors to submit all their relevant requests for BITC to process the relevant paperwork with the authorising government departments on the investors’ behalf. The Business Facilitation Service Centre supports investors with the following services:
- Applications for entry visas as well as work and residence permits.
- Connection to utilities such as power, telecommunications and water.
- Income tax and VAT registration.
- Access to industrial and commercial land allocation.
- Allocation of factory space for manufacturing.
- The provision of information on Botswana’s business climate
- Regulatory regime and investment opportunities.
The facility was launch to augment Botswana’s efforts to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and boost Botswana’s economy in order to create sustainable employment. The service can be accessed from the BITC head office at the Central Business District, off PG Matante Road, Plot 54351.