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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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SMEs benefit from Consumer Fair growth

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The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has applauded Botswana Consumer Fair’s continued efforts to improve small to medium enterprises’ linkages.

BITC Chief Executive Officer, Keletsositse Olebile, when opening the fair, said the event has provided interactive forum for both local and foreign exhibitors. He said the shopping show has enabled manufacturers, wholesalers and traders to market their products directly to consumers, an alignment to government’s endeavors.

“As part of government intention, we continually encourage local sourcing by retailers and distributors,” said Olebile who is just few months into his new post. He further celebrated the growth of Botswana Consumer Fair over the years, attributing the expansion to quality of goods displayed at the previous shows.“Improved quality and increased variety of wares increases the interest of the visitors and makes them look forward to returning the following year,” said Olebile.

This year’s exhibitors at the 13th event still running under the banner: ‘It is more than just shopping’ have been drawn from Lesotho, Zambia, Swaziland, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Egypt, Japan, India, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Consumer Fair is a flagship event for Fairgrounds Holdings and provides a platform for small medium enterprises (SMEs) from the different sectors of the economy to showcase and promote their products and services. In addition, the SMEs are expected to establish long term business linkages and promote local manufactured goods.Fairgrounds Holdings is already optimistic that the Fair immensely contribute to the socio-economic development of the country through supporting SMEs.

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‘Involve SMMEs in standards development’-Minister

Keikantse Lesemela

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Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo appealed to Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) to include the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) when developing the standards to improve the sector.

She said the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry has identified three areas of focus going forward which are modeled on SMME development, investment promotion and export development apexes. “I would like to implore you to include this sector in standards development processes and assist in improving SMMEs conformity to standards and compliance to technical regulations,” said Kenewendo.

Speaking during the BOBS Technical Committee Members appreciation ceremony on Thursday, Kenewendo explained that the important roles of standards are underpinned by the aspirations and intentions espoused in both diversified export led economic growth and job creation as priority areas. “It goes without saying that the diversification of the economy requires a National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework that promote competitiveness of Botswana goods and services.”

She also emphasized that an effective National Quality Infrastructure and Technical Regulatory Framework are essential as they provide crucial links to global trade, market access and export competitiveness through their contribution to consumer confidence in product safety, quality and the environment.Since inception in 1997 BOBS has published more than 1700 standards through 48 technical committees across several sectors of the economy; 109 certification licences have been issued against some of these standards. Currently 46 Botswana Standards are being implemented through the standards regulations with a view to protecting the health and safety of consumers as well as protection of the environment.

On her note, BOBS Vice Chairperson of the Standards Council, Professor Edward Dintwa said standards are powerful tools for helping organisations that implement them to realize their potential, have access and compete in the global marketplace. “In this highly competitive and complex world, issues of sustainability and productivity, viewed from economic, environmental and societal perspectives require that businesses must be more efficient in their operations, which can be achieved through the implementation of standards”.

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