The Minister on Investment, Trade and Industry, Vincent Seretse, says his ministry will continue to with its quest to facilitate market access for Kromberg and Schubert, locally, regionally and globally. Seretse said this on Thursday when unveiling a new factory shell for the Kromberg which was expanded at a cost of P36 million. The factory shell belongs to Western Industrial Estates, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Botswana Development Corporation (BDC). Kromberg and Schubert is a company which produces wiring systems for the automotive industry. Seretse encouraged the company to feel free to consult government entities and contribute to the process of improving the business environment. Even though government is continuing with its efforts to improve business environment, Seretse acknowledged challenges facing the industry such as competition in the region and globally. He said his ministry is currently overseeing implementation of the Doing Business Reforms and the Industrial Development Policy. The reforms, he said, include drafting Business Facilitation Law and reviewing the Trade Act as well as the Industrial Act, all of which are expected to be considered by Parliament this year. “In addition, government will start implementation of the Regulatory Impact Assessment. All these initiatives are aimed at addressing the shortcomings in the business environment,” said the minister. The expansion of the Kromberg factory has resulted in the increase in staff complement from 2000 to 2500. The minister encouraged the company to continue with expansion to support government in employment creation and wealth creation.
Equally, he said, such expansion contributes to economic diversification, export promotion and employment creation among others. “It is in line with the above, that BDC invested P36 million for the expansion of the factory. This will go a long way towards contributing to the industrial development agenda of this country,” said Seretse. Kromberg exports significant amount of products. Seretse said Botswana has a potential to grow and penetrate the export trade market particularly as the country has a narrow revenue base driven mainly by minerals and therefore efforts have to be channeled towards broadening the revenue base. According to Seretse, economic conditions are currently not very favourable and Botswana is not spared the hostile effects that are becoming more prevalent each day. He said Botswana is competing for foreign direct investment with neighboring countries and the rest of the world and requires major investments in various key sectors and industries ranging from manufacturing, information technology, financials services, agriculture, infrastructure development and construction among others. BDC Managing Director, Bashi Gaetsaloe, believes the expansion of Kromberg factory shell will in addition to creating more jobs, play a role in skills development, diversification of the economy and exports and will impact on youth and women empowerment.