The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) is aiming to attract P180 million in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) over the next five years from its investment promotion activities at the upcoming Dubai 2020 Expo.
The BITC and other local companies will participate at the Expo, one of the world’s largest. It will be held over six months from October 1, 2021, until March 31, 2022. At least 190 countries have confirmed their participation at the Expo, including nearly all African countries. The host nation has offered to vaccinate all delegates to the event to ensure a COVID-19 free Expo. Delegates who refuse to be vaccinated will be required to have daily COVID-19 tests. Those who are fully vaccinated will follow the standard procedure of presenting vaccination certifications.
“We are spending very little on the Expo with the hope of attracting FDI through the products and services which will be showcased,” BITC chief operations officer Reginald Selelo recently told Mmegi newspaper’s BusinessWeek.
“The initial P30 million budget to cover all the activities at the Expo could not be met due to financial constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“So far, the BITC board of directors has sanctioned about P10 million to be used to promote the country during the Expo.”
Selelo said the BITC’s participation at the Expo is critical given the need to resuscitate the economy following the impact of the pandemic, in line with President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s RESET initiative. The chief operating officer said despite the COVID-19 impact and restrictions, the BITC had continued to promote Botswana as a prime investment destination, and the Expo would solidify those efforts.
Giving an overview of the Dubai 2020 expo, BITC’s executive director of Export Development and Promotion, Trunklinah Gabonthone said the event would be at a global level with 190 pavilions, 60 live events and parades each day and 1,000 networking opportunities.
“For the first time, all the African countries are going to participate in the Expo,” she said.
The BITC continues to call on local businesses to participate at the upcoming Expo. The BITC has invited businesses to contact the office for more information on how to participate under the Botswana banner.