Wednesday 29 June 2022 - 11:29:18 am

Botswana President eyes UAE as gateway to boosting multilateral trade with Middle East


DUBAI, 15th March, 2022 (WAM) -- Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana, said that Expo 2020 Dubai has provided his country with a perfect place to showcase its potential to investors and help drive business and economic growth.

"Botswana has an established base for multilateral investments into several industries, especially, mining, tourism and food," Dr. Masisi continued.

Dr. Masisi said that Botswana has regional trade agreements which can benefit businesses. "We want foreign investors to succeed with our strong ecosystem for them to thrive."

President Dr. Mokgweetsi was addressing the gathering of senior investors and key officials from government and private sector entities across Botswana and the UAE at the Botswana Investment and Trade Conference held at the Ritz Carlton - DIFC, Dubai.

Participating dignitaries included Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Hon. Mmusi Kgafela, Botswana's Minister of Investment Trade and Industry, Hon. Peggy Serame, Botswana's Minister of Finance and Economic Development, and several Bostwana's business community officials.

The President of Botswana said, "Our ministries and companies are here [in the UAE] and finding new roadways of connecting with investors."

He explained that the country's legal system ensures the protection of investments and enables them to thrive, especially since Botswana is a signatory to several regional and international conventions, and highlighted the country's political stability, which provides a perfect environment for foreign investors.

According to Botswana Investment and Trade Centre, the Southern African country offers general, and sector-specific investment incentives, no foreign exchange controls, the United States-Africa Growth & Opportunity Act allows new opportunities for duty-free and quota-free access to U.S. markets, corporate tax is only 15 percent for manufacturing, and IFSC companies, duty-free and quota-free access to the EU market, and duty-free access to South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland.

It also offers preferential access to markets of 14 Southern African countries, low personal income tax, the highest bracket is 25 percent, zero corporate tax under a Development Approval Order, industrial relations are well established and amicable, and sustainable low tax environment.

While welcoming Dr. Masisi, Botswana ministers and government officials, Dr. Al Zeyoudi said, "The UAE and Botswana share a longstanding friendship and partnership, underscored by deep trade and investment ties. In 2021, for example, the total value of non-oil trade between the two nations reached US$2.5 billion, reflecting 85 percent growth compared to 2020 and 80 percent growth compared to 2019."

"The Botswana Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai shows us how strategic partnerships have helped the country accelerate the movement of goods, ideas and wealth," Dr. Thani said in conclusion.

WAM/Amjad Saleh/MOHD AAMIR/Rola Alghoul