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United Kingdom’s HMRC recognises BSE Limited

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Thapelo Tsheole

United Kingdom’s Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has designated the Botswana Stock Exchange Limited(BSEL) as a “Recognised Stock Exchange” under Section 1005(1)(b) Income Tax Act 2007, according to a statement released on Monday from the BSE Limited,

A ‘Recognised Stock Exchange’ is defined as any market of a recognised investment exchange which is for the time being designated as a recognised stock exchange by an order made by the Commissioner for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs; and any market outside the United Kingdom which is for the time being so designated.

Commenting on this development, the Chief Executive Officer of BSEL, Thapelo Tsheole said, “This is a critical milestone for the exchange as we persistently pursue our internationalisation strategy and it comes as a result of undergoing a comprehensive application process that ensures that the BSEL meets the rigorous requirements outlined by HMRC for one to be designated as a Recognised Stock Exchange.”

Tsheole further said, “such recognition carries confidence signals to investors and appropriately positions the BSEL to continually attract investments from UK investors as the UK Income Tax Act makes provisions for securities which are listed or dealt in on a recognised stock exchange.”

According to Tsheole, the BSEL has been undertaking various significant initiatives to improve its global competitiveness and ultimately that of Botswana’s financial markets. “The calibre of issuers we have been able to attract and most importantly the demutualisation of the exchange are some of the critical considerations that directly contributed to the Exchange attaining this recognition.”

The portfolio include the triple A-rated International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Dollar denominated debt instrument issued in 2017, the world-class IT infrastructure we have in place, the market development initiatives we are pursuing to attract companies and investors, the diversity of products on the Exchange, the promotion of a conducive regulatory environment.

The BSEL is the third stock exchange in Africa and the eighteenth in the world to receive this designation.

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Market Street day supports local products

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Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo has encouraged citizens to promote and support local products thus contributing to employment creation and economic development.

Speaking during the ministry’s Market Street day on Saturday, the trade minister said the ministry came up with the initiative to expose local products to the national market. “The plan is to keep growing so that we get Batswana products in the shops and get Batswana to know the products in the shops,” said Kenewendo. Market street day was initiated last year as a platform to add on to the continuing efforts to grow local businesses. This year, retail sector, including Shoprite, Choppies and Ackerman’s from South Africa participated in the exhibition.

Kenewendo pointed out that supporting local products helps reduce export of jobs. “Most of Batswana will say they don’t want to buy locally produced goods because they are of low quality, we need to buy from them so that they grow. When we buy products from other countries we are exporting jobs, why should we export jobs?” she asked rhetorically. Economic diversification drive should not be a Government initiative alone, only but all citizens should contribute, she concluded.

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Botswana behind in ease of doing business

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Botswana has been challenged to improve easy of doing business for the country to remain competitive amongst its peers.

The Director of Investor Facilitation and Relations at Special Economic Zones Authority’s (SEZA), Neo Mahube recently told delegates at the two- day investment symposium dubbed Doing Business in Botswana, Transitioning Botswana that the country needs to be globally competitive.“The world is growing better than we are, there is something that we are not doing right, despite our political stability and sound economic policies,” said Mahube.

Currently, Botswana lags behind Mauritius, Zambia, Kenya, South Africa on the ease of doing business, according to the latest World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report. Mahube said bottlenecks that investors and local startups face to register a business should be resolved.

“We need to transform the way we are doing business, if we are to bring businesses to Botswana,” said Mahube, adding that the country needs to be as efficient as possible to start a business, apart from improving credit efficiency.

She however applauded government for legislation amendment initiatives that have already been put in place ahead of the transformation journey. Mahube said through transforming the ease of doing business the country has potential to create employment.

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