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AIM conference to help developing countries attract FDI

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Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has joined the world’s leading platform for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) at the 2018 Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) in the United Arab Emirates that started on Monday and ends this Wednesday. AIM this year hosts more than 40 country pavilions and 18 country presentations and investment destinations including Botswana that will promote investment opportunities in their locations. Others include; UAE, China, Georgia, Italy, India, South Korea, Egypt, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Jordan, Cameroon, and Nigeria. According to information from the BITC, Acting Chief Operations Officer, Reginald Selelo, Ambassador of Botswana to Kuwait and United Arab Emirates, Manyepedza Lesetedi and Mayor of Lobatse Town Council, Malebogo Kruger are in attendance. AIM’s top focused sectors this year are; Agribusiness and Agriculture, Energy and Mining, Finance and Banking infrastructure and Logistics, IT and Telecommunications, Manufacturing, Real Estate and Property, Tourism and Hospitality and Trade and Industry. The eighth edition of the AIM Conference is expected to assist developing countries to attract FDI.

The platform emphasises on learning and gathering knowledge. The awareness that workshop attendees will get from global experts will support them to improve their knowledge on FDI, world economic policies, sovereign funds of different nations, investments, business development and many other fields. Moreover, attendees will get certificates from higher authorities, which will empower them in future. In addition, investment promotion agencies in attendance will be trained to be proficient to promote investment, run roadshows and make intellectual investments.

The informative approach of this assistance will be combined with a tactical review of operational requirements through practical case studies. The theme for the event is ‘Linking Developed and Emerging Markets through FDI: Partnerships for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development.’ There will be opportunities to network with business leaders and entrepreneurs for the international investment community, especially at the Gala Dinner and the AIM Startup Innovation Showcase and Pitch Competition.  AIM will be spread across 8 000 square metres of net exhibition space in which participants from 140 countries will promote their investment projects, opportunities, services and attractions. Meanwhile, FDI inflow into the UAE reached US$10.3 billion in 2017, according to the UAE Competitiveness and Statistics Authority up from US$9.6 billion recorded in 2016. This takes the total FDI stock of the country to US$128.94 billion in 2017. Dawood Al Shezawi, the CEO of AIM, said, “The UAE’s FDI inflow is a living testimony of how liberal approach and an ease in doing business is helping the UAE attract more investment. The UAE’s FDI stock now exceeds US$128.85 billion, which is significant and puts the UAE ahead of most countries in the Middle East. [Additional reporting by: AIMCongress]

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ADB grants BDC P4m for capacity building

Koobonye Ramokopelwa

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BDC head of human capital, Thabile Moipolai

African Development Bank has granted Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) over P4 million for training and capacity building of its staff members, the latter’s Managing Director, Bashi Gaetsaloe has disclosed.

The grant, which is $400,000 could not have come at a better time for BDC which has just begun a foray into the African continent. According to the Head of Human Capital at the investment arm of government, Thabile Moipolai, the grant will be used in areas such as investment, legal and risk, the three divisions which are considered critical as they continue to push the five -year strategy.

BDC has been given the leeway to invest outside Botswana and already some investments are being made in West Africa. Capacitating the staff in the above areas will come in handy for the African expansion.

Moipolai was answering a question from The Midweek Sun on Friday during the company’s annual stakeholder briefing where operational and financial reports for 2017/2018 were made public. The grant will be utilised in the next two years. BDC has reiterated its plan to continue to invest initiatives which are aimed at developing and retaining staff members.

“As we continue to build a strong BDC for the future, continuous learning and development is critical for our business success and therefore remains a priority area for Human Capital,” BDC 2017 annual report reads.

BDC has also developed a future focused competency based training that will be used to make informed learning and development decisions. “The (BDC) academy will also help BDC produce future leaders that are fluid and progressive through a bespoke leadership development,” reads the report.

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KBL announces return of Kickstart program

Koobonye Ramokopelwa

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Previous kickstart beneficiaries

Kgalagadi Breweries Limited, a unit of Sechaba has announced the return of Kickstart, a youth entrepreneurial development program that was suspended three years due to lack of financial resources, Managing Director, Renaud Beauchamp has told the media.

Before the program was put on ice, it had benefited over 70 small medium enterprises with funding, mentoring and market access assistance. According to Beauchamp, the revamped Kickstart will start next year, with an annual budget of about P1, 5 million. “We plan to invest in 15 new businesses every year,” he said at a press briefing which also announced a price reduction for its alcohol brands such as St Louis, Castel Lite and Black Label.

Successful applicants will receive about P200, 000 grants to execute their business ideas. Beauchamp stated that, they have been able to reintroduce Kickstart from ‘freed capital’ as a result of the recent reduction in Alcohol Levy from 55 percent to 35 percent. The clear beer price reduction comes after the Alcohol Levy, which made beer expensive, was slashed by President Mokgweetsi Masisi regime some few months ago.

Meanwhile, Assistant Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment has announced changes in trading hours for businesses that trade with liquor.

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