The existence of a stable political environment borne out of respect for the rule of law in Botswana ensures protection of investments, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has told the Qatar Business Association. “This is not something that is not only fully institutionalized but has become part of the culture and identity of Botswana,” he said.
Addressing the Qatar Business Association during his two-day state visit to the Gulf state, Dr Masisi assured the entrepreneurs of government’s commitment to ensure a conducive environment for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Botswana.
Since ascending to the presidency in April last year, Dr Masisi had made the revitalization of the economy especially through increased FDI, one of his priorities to tackle low economic growth, high unemployment and other related challenges.
The President also said FDI safety was assured by the existence of a fully functioning and independent Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime, as well as the Whistle Blowing Act of 2016 which empowers and protects members of the public who spoke up against corruption.
Dr Masisi informed his audience that Botswana was on the verge of passing into law the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities bill to enhance transparency and accountability by all those who have a public mandate.
“All these initiatives are a demonstration of Botswana’s commitment to fighting corruption both in our political leadership and collective mobilization,” Dr Masisi said.
He further said Botswana boasted of various investment incentives that could help ease doing business and ensure a return on investment.
For instance, Dr Masisi said, the country had no foreign exchange controls which ensured all remittances and repatriation of proceeds and dividends.
Botswana laws, he said, were not stringent on business ownership and allowed for 100 per cent ownership of businesses by foreigners.
According to President Masisi, the country’s competitive tax regime, by far the lowest at 22 per cent as compared to the 27 per cent African average and 23.5 per cent global average, made Botswana the destination of choice for investors.
While in Qatar, President Masisi, who was accompanied by First Lady Ms Neo Masisi, some cabinet ministers and other senior government officials, held bilateral talks with the country’s leadership on various areas of development such as agriculture, trade and investment, mining, education and tourism.
President Masisi also visited places such as Baladna, which is home to 14 000 Holstein cows and ensures sufficiency in fresh raw milk for the Qataris.
He was also taken on a tour of Katara cultural village, also in Doha. President Masisi was in Qatar at the invitation of its leader, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani.