The Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI), Vincent Seretse on Thursday extended invitation to investors attending the CEO Joint Forum of the World Federation of Development Finance Institutions (WFDFI) to consider Botswana as their investment destination. In his welcome address during the 3rd CEO Joint Forum which was held at GICC this week, Minister Seretse assured the guests that Botswana is one of the safest countries one can enjoy residing and investing in. He said the country has continued to be rated satisfactorily by rating agencies such as Standard and Poor’s (S&P) and Moody’s, saying the country does not have foreign exchange controls or restrictions on capital outflows. Held under the theme, “DFI’s sustaining Relevance in the age of disruption”, Seretse said the Development Finance Institutions are unique institutions that have the responsibility of availing financing to sectors or businesses that are mostly unattractive to private capital. “The investments that you avail to your respective economies have an impact on development and promote access to finance and development of sustainable citizen-owned enterprises. The event, which was hosted by CEDA, was attended by development finance associations from a number of regions, including the Asia-Pacific.
Meanwhile Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi said the DFI’s are vital to the development of the economies since they can assist in addressing issues of import substitutions. Masisi said the role of DFI’s in developed countries has gone beyond the simple task of financing and encouraged the attending members to ensure balancing of responsibilities. He said the DFI’s are instruments designed to deliver financial growth and on the other hand are expected to generate profits. The CEO of the European Organisation for Sustainable Development (EOSD), Arshad Rab implored the DFI’s to employ innovation to stay relevant and be sustainable. Rab, whose organisation is based in Germany, said the DFI’s should continue to be innovative to cater for the coming generations. He said the industry is fast changing and therefore needs fresh solutions more often to keep with times. In addition, he said DFI’s should promote financial inclusion through financing of the SME’s and also avail funding to large scale projects. The DFI’s, Rab said have a role to play in the fight against global warming which has caused climate change through identifying green opportunities in addition to assisting in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals which include eradicating abject poverty.