Govt bolsters doing business reforms


The Ministry of Trade and Industry has launched the doing business reforms roadmap and implementation plan, which are aimed at making business environment conducive for investment.

The roadmap is an initiative crafted with the assistance of the World Bank and it seeks to reinforce reforms that government has been implementing since 2011.

Speaking at the launch of the reforms recently, the ministry’s permanent secretary, Peggy Serame said the launch of the doing business reforms roadmap signifies the importance attached to the process of reforming the business environment which should lead to an even more investor friendly economy.

“The purpose of this launch is to share and sensetise various stakeholders of what the reforms entail and wish them to support us in implementing the programme,” she said. “It is going to take our combined efforts to achieve success and it means preparing for the changes that are going to take place in the coming years.”

She said the participation of the private sector in the development of relevant reforms was important as the regulatory environment directly affected them.

Some of the reforms contained in the roadmap include; decoupling construction permit procedures from tax issues, reducing the number of documents required and period taken to apply for export and import permits. Further, the reforms seek to limit the number of licences to only those areas related to public health and safety.

The report was sanctioned by a steering committee chaired by the National Strategy Office and was approved by the government.

Lately, Botswana has been experiencing a decline in global competitiveness and doing business rankings where the country dropped 31 spots, down from position 43 in 2010 to 74 in 2015. On the global competitiveness rankings, the country dropped from position 66 in 2010 to 74 in 2015. In light of this, government established the national doing business committee in May 2011 to come up with measures that would assist in improving the ease of doing business as well as deal with issues of global competitiveness.

The committee comprises the public and private sector representatives with the latter chairing the forum. A cabinet sub-committee on doing business was established and tasked with the responsibility of overseeing the implementation of the proposed reforms. Poor work ethic, lack of access to finance and slower technological development are some of the problems that drag Botswana down in the rankings.

The new roadmap details the approved reforms under the specific indicators of the Doing Business Report and those under legal, regulatory and governance frameworks and structures. It was produced with recommendations divided into; short term, which should be implemented within a year and medium to long-term actions that would be implemented within two to three years.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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