Flo-tek‘s newly launched CPVC Flowguard Plumbing solution has been lauded as an effort and roadmap towards development of a vibrant manufacturing sector which has the potential to contribute to the diversification of the country’s economy.
CPVC Plumbing solution product, which is termed as Botswana’s big technological revolution in the plumbing industry, is an outcome of Flo-tek and USA-based Lubrizol Corporation to manufacture CPVC pipes in Botswana for the entire SADC region.
During the official launch of the product President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi insisted that Flo-tek ’milestone is a great opportunity to reflect on the country’s efforts of tapping into the manufacturing sector, adding that Flo-tek is a clear testament to the potential of local companies to grow the economy and create more employment.
Masisi said there is no doubt that manufacturing remains critical sector in any country as it is a key driver of long-term sustainable economic growth, and creates more jobs than any other sector while driving innovation in various segments of the economy.
“For us as a country to have rapid economic growth, I would like to encourage young people to consider venturing into the manufacturing. Our own Manufacturing sector, particularly SMMEs can become integral part of the manufacturing supply chain and employ more people,” said President Masisi.
He said with the nation is marred by high unemployment rate, the government is doing all to grow the manufacturing sector as to diversify the economy, adding that the sector has the potential to contribute to Botswana’s elevation to high income status as championed in the National Vision 2036.
President Masisi said active involvement is required in succeeding efforts to grow the economy through the manufacturing sector with countries that have prospered in economy makeover placed more emphasis on promoting robust industrialisation. As a result he echoed that Botswana has adopted a number of policies and strategies to promote the sector.
Among such is the Economic Diversification Drive (EDD) initiative, which seeks to strengthen local manufacturers via promoting the procurement of locally produced goods. He emphasized that during the State of Nation Address, he pointed out that the Citizen Entrepreneurship Development Agency (CEDA) is currently assessing investment prospects in the local manufacturing sector so as to unlock sustainable business opportunities.
Masisi said in quest to making domestic investment more attractive the Economic and Investment Board will be established in 2019, which will at later stage pave way the way for the establishment of the Investment Clearing House, whose purpose will be to facilitate investment flows into the country.
Flotek Managing Director Vijay Naik said the company is looking into expanding its footprint and market into the region with intentions of opening plants in Zimbabwe and Mozambique respectively.
He said innovation forms integral part in the manufacturing process of the company and industries at large therefore charging that they are committed to bring more innovative products to the market in order to create necessary value.
Naik said Botswana is strategically located with land linked positioning and with Southern Africa being recognised as one of the growing markets in Africa boosting market size of 250 million inhabitants, it worth consideration to do manufacturing in Botswana for the region. He said Botswana has distinct advantages compared to its neighbours but there is need for support in achieving ease of doing business in Botswana and remained hopeful it shall succeed.
Flotek is currently the largest manufacturers of plastic pipes in Southern Africa with a total production of 35 000 tonnes annually, of which 50% of production being done in Botswana a total of 70% production is exported into the region.