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Remove trade bottlenecks - Keebine

SADC member states have been urged to remove impediments that hinder the ease of doing business in the region.

The call was made by Business Botswana president, Mr Gobusamang Keebine at the SADC Promotion Agencies chief executive forum in Kasane recently.

He emphasised that if member states could remove bottlenecks hindering the ease of doing business in the region they would harmonise their respective business environments, and move to jointly sell the abundant investment opportunities within the region.

For instance, he said, Botswana with its population of slightly more than two million people was not attractive as a market on its own and it was for this reason that Botswana was leading by example in promoting regional and global focus by companies.

“We are members of key multi-lateral trade arrangements such as SACU, SADC/EU EPA, AGOA, and SACU/EFTA to name a few,” he explained.

He said the region could only succeed in its promotion and attraction efforts if members states collectively removed existing barriers to investment and trade, and pursued effective market liberalisation and regional integration to enable member states to ‘hunt and feed’ as a pack in matters of investment and trade.

“We are always happy as Botswana, to see a company located in one SADC member state, being able to seamlessly expand across SADC countries without any hindrance, and we are currently facilitating companies that are doing business in Botswana to look out and explore regional opportunities from their stable base in Botswana, highlighted Mr Keebine.

He said it was Botswana’s wish to see a perfect linkage of value chains across member states.

If one member state hosted a significant sector like the auto industry in South Africa, Mr Keebine said the region should explore what aspects of the sector value chain could realistically be supported by other member states, to facilitate proportional development and prevent known social problems such as immigrant influx which came with its own challenges.

Ms Thembi Langa from the SADC secretariat also encouraged regional cooperation on investment issues in order to improve the ‘doing business’ environment and to stimulate the flow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the region.

She said cooperation among SADC agencies facilitated exchange of information, knowledge and expertise, which should ultimately lead to improvement in both the performance of the agencies and overall business in the region.

“We have come a long way as the region’s Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs), having graduated from seeing each other as competitors to complementing each other,” observed Ms Langa.

That she said was also embedded in the SADC priority of industrialisation where countries were encouraged to cooperate with each other in the creation of regional value chains.

Ms Langa said SADC member states, like most developing countries, were actively seeking FDI to enhance their economic growth and promote integration into the world economy.

“FDI has the potential to stimulate economic growth, create employment and facilitate the transfer of managerial skills and technology, said.” ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Sefhako Sefhako

Location : KASANE

Event : SADC Forum

Date : Dec 06 Wed,2017

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