BITC woos multimillion pula investments

Sealing deals: Olebile’s team in Dubai is marking the halfway point of the Expo soon PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Sealing deals: Olebile’s team in Dubai is marking the halfway point of the Expo soon PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE

The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) says it has picked investment leads worth millions of pula at the ongoing Dubai Expo, including an expression of interest by the Shaikh Hussain Finance House to avail $50 million (P591 million) for funding business across all sectors.

The BITC had targetted raking in P180 million in investment deals at the six-month expo, which will reach its halfway point at the end of December.

Briefing journalists on the investment agency’s progress thus far, BITC chief executive officer, Keletsositse Olebile said another company, the Sheetal Diamond Company, had also shown interest in setting up a diamond cutting and polishing facility in Botswana. He said the company has already secured a factory shell to start operations in early 2022. Sheetal expects to invest $5 million (P59.2 million) and intends to create 150 jobs.

“Other interested companies include Al Rawabi Dairy farm which plans to set up a dairy facility in Botswana and the Dubai Multi Commodity Company which has pledged to support Botswana and ensure that Emirates introduces direct flights to Botswana,” he said.

According to Olebile, Lilavati Hospital, a top Indian healthcare provider, has expressed interest in investing in a hospital in Botswana with high technology machines and doctors, while Advika Jungle Villas is interested in helping Africa’s economic diversification.

Pure Pearl Gold Trading wants to source local rough diamonds and will be facilitated to undertake a site visit to Botswana while Sama International Company is interested in a possible partnership involving the export of goat meat to Saudi Arabia.

“Sama International through Mohammad Abu Raqabah, have assisted with exporting Botswana beef to Kuwait before,” the CEO said.

Further, the CEO said the BITC expects P2.5 million to be generated at its kiosk at the Dubai Expo where various locally made goods are on offer. The investment agency also expects to attract two factory-ready prototypes and investment for market-ready innovation projects, a five percent increase in tourists and to introduce at least 20 tour operators to the United Arab Emirates market. Olebile said the BITC wants to see local menus penetrate the global market, four Batswana owned companies introduced to the UAE market as well as increased brand performance.

So far at the Expo, the BITC hosted the minerals month in October with local minerals being showcased and different mining companies participating. During that period, Okavango Diamond Company auctioned a parcel of its rough diamonds, garnering a record $110million (P1.3 billion) in revenue.

November was designed as innovation month with local companies allowed to showcase their innovation and inventions. The BITC also hosted an innovation pitch event in which the companies participated.

December has been set aside as the arts and culture month which will see local culture being showcased through live performances and demonstrations.

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