FRANCISTOWN: The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) is targeting P180 million in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country 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, which is one of the world’s largest. It will be held for a period of 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.
Any delegate who refuse vaccination will be required to attend under daily COVID-19 tests. Delegates who are fully vaccinated will follow the standard procedure of presenting certifications of their vaccination.
“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 BusinessWeek.
“The initial budget to cover all the activities at the Expo was P30 million, but this could not be met due to financial constraint caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“So far, the BITC board of directors has sanctioned about P10 million, which will be used when promoting the country during the Expo.”
Selelo said the BITC’s participation at the Expo was 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.
“One of the ways we continue to promote Botswana’s goods and services is digital programming and we have held a number of webinars virtually during this time. “We have not held any physical investment promotion activities during the pandemic,” he added. 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.
Businesses have been invited to contact the BITC for more information on how to participate under the Botswana banner.