Indian investors have expressed firm interest in taking advantage of Botswana's massive investment opportunities as economic relations between the two countries grows from strength to strength.
Speaking in Gaborone yesterday, at the Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA) seminar, representatives of Indian companies that were part of the visiting business delegation from the Asian country said they are willing to come and invest in Botswana either as joint ventures or as solo investors.
" I have been impressed with what I have seen and there are some very good opportunities for my company to make use of in this country," said Vinod Goel who is the Deputy General Manager of the Export and Import Bank of India.
A representative of Safepack, a diversified manufacturing and mining company, said his company is mostly interested in Uranium mining as the mineral is now in high demand due to the energy demand-supply gap in the emerging markets such as India.
The delegation which left the country last night was headed by their Vice President Shri Mohammed Hamid Ansari.
BEDIA Director for Business Development Favor Marebole explained to the delegation the vast investment opportunities that Botswana possesses which range from mining, agriculture, energy development and infrastructure development." We have investment opportunities such as the second phase of the Morupule B, railways construction, the Zambezi water and agricultural project and many other projects in sectors such as health and education," he said.Coordinator of the Agricultural hub Neil Fitt also gave a
"Apart from the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Botswana also has a lot to learn from India as they have developed their agricultural sector to a very high level," he said.
Speaking on Saturday at the signing ceremony of an Agriculture agreement between the two countries, Minister of Agriculture, Christian De Graaf said India has prospered in the field of agriculture over the years, and they (the ministry) would make sure that they benefit much from the accord as they develop the agricultural hub.
De Graaf said they would soon send a delegation to India to "benchmark, learn and share important experiences with their Indian counterparts" as a way of implementing the agreement initiatives.The quantity of trade between the two countries has grown over the years with primary exports to the Asian country including scrap aluminium metal and iron and steel. On the other hand, India exports to Botswana include pharmaceuticals, cotton, machinery, electrical goods and boilers. India and Botswana also have a double taxation agreement, which provides a framework for enhanced business ties between the two countries.
Nine Indian firms have also expressed interest in setting up their operations in Botswana under the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC), and the Botswana innovation hub.