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BEMA decries govt’s 'misaligned policies'

PAULINE DIKUELO
Mwaba PIC:KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Botswana Exporters and Manufacturers Association (BEMA) president, Nkosi Mwaba says while government has excellent policies for business, these are often misplaced and unhelpful for business.

The association held its 22nd Annual General Meeting on Tuesday under the theme ‘Reviving Local Manufacturing Industries for Import Substitution and Export Promotion’. Mwaba said legislative and policy reforms in the business sector should be guided by the actual needs of the private sector.

“We have excellent policies in the country although some of them are misplaced and others simply do not talk to each other,” he said.

“There should be a mindset change towards a willingness to support local products and the way in which government manages its implementation process.

“One will be surprised at the number of jobs lost and companies shut down just for this reason alone.

“In developing new policies and reforms, I wish to urge government to listen more and prescribe a little less to the private sector.”

According to Mwaba, the private sector needs time to perfect its production processes and practices and to build capacity and

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competitiveness.  He said local manufacturers needed to learn at home before they could compete in the export market.  He also called on exporters to move with the times and adopt systems and processes in their operations that incorporate agility through modern technology.

For her part, the Economic Diversification Drive (EDD) director, Pauline Monare called on BEMA members to collaborate with government in ensuring implementation of policies and strategies that are geared towards the promotion of the manufacturing sector.

“Through the SME Development Apex, we intend to build productive capabilities of local enterprises to be able to supply the local market and export to international markets,” she said.

The Ministry of Investment and Trade Industry (MITI) early this year introduced the Apex model designed to the process. The model entails three apexes being Investment Promotion, SME Development and Export Development.



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