Botswana: The Acting Permanent Secretary, Mr Gideon Mmolowa, says Investment Law is vital for economic diversification. Mr Gideon Mmolawa said this during a courtesy call in response to issues raised by Dr Peter Middlebrook from Geopolicity World, the Lead Consultant in the review and development of the National Investment Strategy.
Mr Gideon Mmolawa also added that the Ministry of Trade and Industry, through the Research and Policy Department, has several activities undertaken as part of the Consultation and Engagement process in the development of the Strategy.
These included the establishment of a Reference Group comprising all key stakeholders, among them the private Sector, select districts’ meetings and presentations to the Ministry’s Management and the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre’s Executive Directors as the lead custodian of the Strategy.
Prior to that, Dr Middlebrook pointed out that countries like Rwanda and Mauritius are doing well economically since they have an Investment Law which guides them on how to facilitate investors; assure investors of their investment and profit’s safety. He went on to highlight that the Investment Law will also help to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
For his part, the Director of the Research and Policy Department, Mr Gaoakanye Tapeng, indicated that the MTI was undertaking the exercise through the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Tapeng said the final draft of the Reviewed Strategy will be shared with Cabinet and Government Ministries.
The National Investment Strategy was developed in 2008 to enhance Strategies for investment promotion and attraction, and it expired in 2016, hence the need to carry out a detailed review of the Strategy, evaluate its effectiveness, assess the regulatory environment (including existing instruments such as Bilateral Investment Treaties) and formulate a new Strategy with concrete recommendations and align it to emerging issues in the Sector.
The occasion was graced by representatives from the Ministry Headquarters, Botswana Investment and Trade Center (BITC), Botswana Development Corporation and SEZA.