A business delegation from Japan was in Botswana last week for a two-day Botswana Japan Roundtable Business Forum. The forum, which was facilitated by Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC), was meant to give the Japanese business delegation a chance to interact with relevant stakeholders to explore business opportunities in the country. Speaking at the forum Japanese ambassador Masahiro Onishi said there was a high level of interest from Japanese companies to do business in Botswana. Onishi hoped at the end of the forum the participants will take to their headquarters information that will enable them to establish businesses in Botswana. He said the two nations have always enjoyed cordial working relations for some time and he is happy with the determination and dedication of the two parties to continue this. “I believe that this mission will have significance to the sustainable growth of Botswana economy,” said Onishi. Forty-two participants from Japan among them 22 companies and four public institutions took part in the two-day business forum. The delegation had an opportunity to learn about Botswana’s investment climate and opportunities as well as meet with development financing institutions. They also had an opportunity to carry site visits.
The Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry Peggy Serame said there is so much that Botswana can learn from Japan. She therefore urged the Japanese to take advantage of the good atmosphere of doing business in Botswana and set their businesses here. Serame said government is currently working on improving further the ease doing business in Botswana. “We are currently working on Doing Business reforms and I believe that after finishing them it will be even easier to do business in Botswana,” she said. Serame said Botswana can learn a lot from the Japanese on how they managed to transform from a manufacturing economy to service-led one. This is in line with government’s efforts of trying to come up with ways of diversifying the country’s economy which has been reliant on minerals. The Deputy Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Sustainability Moreri Phiri said the ministry has a lot in terms of helping to grow the economy. He called on the Japanese companies to come to Botswana and explore opportunities where they can do business. Phiri said a number of opportunities exist in mineral prospecting, green field exploration and funding of mega projects and energy. “Green technology has been identified as a major opportunity and we are going to invite companies to help in the sector. As the ministry we will continue towards making necessary legislature to ensure a suitable environment for the companies,” said Phiri.