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Why invest in Botswana?

Ten reasons to invest in Botswana:

1. A Favorable investment climate:
Botswana has a stable and democratic political environment, rule of law, and a favorable regulator environment for business. Botswana ranks among the top 3 African countries in measures of investment and business climate according to the World Bank and the World Economic Forum. It is the least corrupt country in Africa according to World Bank's 2007 Doing Business Report,  Botswana's sovereign credit ratings by Moody's Investor Services, while Standard & Poor's remained unchanged at “A” grading for the seventh year running. Additionally  

Botswana ranks in the top for telecommunication penetration indicators in Africa.

2. No foreign exchange controls:
Botswana has no foreign exchange controls and allows full repatriation of profits, investments and capital gains, free of withholding taxes.

3. Competitive investment incentives:
Botswana incentives include duty free import of all capital equipment for all companies and duty free import of raw materials for exporters. Certain tax holidays are also available, although Botswana has reduced corporate income taxes to some of the lowest on the continent: 15% for manufacturing operations and 25% for all others. Botswana allows for 200% of training costs. Double taxation agreements are in place with South Africa, United Kingdom, Sweden, Mauritius, India and Russia.

4. Market access opportunities:
SACU - Botswana goods and services enjoy duty and quota free access to markets in South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho, with a combined population of about 48 million through the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).

SADC – The Southern African Development Community (SADC), comprising 14 countries with a population of 200 million, offers further market access opportunities through the SADC Protocol on Trade, aimed at eliminating trade barriers among member States. 

AGOA – Certain Botswana exports including textiles and glass products are admitted free of import duties to the EU countries and the United States through the Contonou Agreement and the African Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA), respectively.

5. Financing options:
Botswana has one of the most highly developed financial sectors in Africa, with a range of private and government backed financial institutions able to provide loans, overdraft facilities, and equity capital to both foreign and domestic investors. Finance is available from local financial institutions such as the Botswana Development Corporation, the National Development Bank, and the Venture Capital Fund, which support the development of industries in Botswana and are ready to finance viable business proposals.

6. A readily trainable, educated, and English speaking labor force.

7. A warm and hospitable local population.

8. Existence of an established expat community
Chinese population estimates are between 5,000 – 10,000.

9. Double taxation agreements:
In place with South Africa, United Kingdom, Sweden, Mauritius, India and Russia.

10. Investor facilitation:
BEDIA (Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority) provides investment facilitation services through the one-stop facility to potential investors to ensure the smooth establishment of businesses. These include work and residence permits, operating licenses, access to land and factory space, business visas, water, electricity and telephone connections.

For more information: www.bedia.com

Lt. Gen. M.S. Merafhe 
Vice President and former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation 

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