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Business Botswana Confident In Masisi’s Economic Roadmap

CHAKALISA DUBE
FRANCISTOWN: Business Botswana has joined a swelling rank of stakeholders who believe President Mokgweetsi Masisi will bring positive change to the economy and usher in new policies that will help foster private sector growth.

Since taking power in April this year there have been strong suggestions that Masisi is showing signs of improving various sectors that drive the economy of the country.

Business Botswana president, Gobusamang Ebineng expressed optimism in Masisi's regime over the weekend at the official opening of the annual northern trade fair in Francistown. The fair is the brainchild of Business Botswana with Ebineng being amongst keynote speakers at the event.

“We are hoping for a turnaround under President Mokgweetsi Masisi in terms of private sector and economic growth. At the recent High Level Consultative Council (HLCC) meeting, Masisi delivered a very positive speech about how he intends to improve the economy and the ease of doing business in Botswana as well as growing the private sector. We are very optimistic that he will bring so much change,” Ebineng said.

Ebineng stated that Business Botswana will ensure that the private sector fully benefits from Masisi's revamped policies.

There is a strong perception that under Ian Khama's rule Botswana made little progress in terms of its economic and private sector growth.

When addressing the inaugural HLCC meeting in Gaborone last week, Masisi noted that he is deeply worried about the decline of Botswana in the ease of

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doing business global rankings.

He added that the government has decided to make adjustments and reorganisation of the country's immigration policy as one of the key reforms meant to improve the ease of doing business.

“Investors have been struggling with VISAS and permits. From now on they (VISAS and permits) will be facilitated as expeditiously as possible,” promised Masisi.

Business Botswana is amongst key bodies that have often criticised Khama's regime for not doing enough to promote private sector growth.

Botswana’s stringent immigration regulations have often times been cited as a major impediment to the country's ambitions of growing the private sector.

Business Botswana and some stakeholders have often criticised Botswana's immigration policy under Khama saying that it did not give the country an opportunity to compete effectively with other countries in terms of attracting investors.

They have also often said that reasons advanced for denying expatriates workers and investors permits were not sound.

Botswana is currently ranked position 81 in the ease of doing business rankings report out of 190 countries. Botswana's previous position was number 21.

Furthermore, at the HLCC Masisi noted that government will strive to create a conducive environment for the private sector to create more jobs on a sustainable basis.



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