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Botswana president officially opens Diamond Conference 

GABORONE Botswana (Xinhua) -- Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi officially opened the 2018 Diamond Conference here on Tuesday to deliberate on market trends and the industry’s outlook.

The annual conference, which is in its 4th edition this year and is under the theme of “Leading Business for Social Capital” this year, brings together key diamond industry players from across the globe.

In his keynote address, Masisi said social capital speaks directly to the sustainable production and the growth of the communities in which companies operate.

“The phenomenon forces all players to honor their licenses to operate and create lasting legacies and goodwill in those communities. This can only be realized fully, if we collaborate and work together throughout the entire diamond pipeline,” Masisi said.

“By doing so, we will ensure that these finite resources are mined safely and traded in accordance with international practice, in this case, the Kimberley Process Certification and System of Warranties,” Masisi said.

Beneficiation remains a key objective of the country’s economic diversification drive in the diamond sector, Masisi said.

“We need to move further up the pipeline to jewelry manufacturing and retail,” he said. “We are committed to the ideal of bringing Botswana out of the middle-income trap and transforming her into a high-income country.”



Botswana attracts 108.2 mln USD foreign direct investment in 2017: president

GABORONE Botswana (Xinhua) -- Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi on Monday announced that the southern African nation managed to attract foreign direct investment worth 108.2 million U.S. dollars last year.

In his maiden State of the Nation Address (SONA), Masisi said Botswana has recognized investment promotion as the key economic growth and job creation, as it leads to expansion of existing and establishment of new industries.

According to Masisi, Botswana has since embarked on a transformation agenda to lure investors into the southern African country through a revamped investment promotion drive which the president is leading.

Since ascending to the presidency of the world’s largest producer of diamonds by value, Masisi has been globetrotting alongside trade and investment missions to ensure Botswana’s visibility and positioning her, as an investment destination.

“We are building the goodwill in the global village through Brand Botswana initiatives including investment booths, marketing our arts and culture, cuisine, dance and song,” said Masisi, adding that the efforts have paid dividends in the last year.

“In the year 2017/18, through the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC), the country generated an estimated 108.2 million U.S. dollars (1.082 billion pula) worth of foreign direct investment,” said Masisi.

Masisi said the new investments made in the period under review resulted in the creation of an additional 3,050 jobs thanks to FDI inflows into the country.

In addition, Botswana is also working on stimulating domestic investment by ensuring that the same red carpet in offer for FDI is available for domestic investment.

Furthermore, plans are at an advanced stage to establish the Economic and Investment Board, which the president shall chair and is expected to be operational in 2019.


Botswana’s minister commend Chinese construction project

GABORONE Botswana (Xinhua) -- The Sidilega Private Hospital, being constructed by a Chinese company in the capital, is marvelous, said a Botswana minister here Tuesday.

Alfred Madigele, Botswana’s health and wellness minister, said he is certain that the construction by the Red East Construction Ltd will be completed within the planned budget and the hospital will be handed over on time.

According to Madigele, the construction of the 110-bed hospital is expected to be completed in March 2019.

It will be the third private hospital in the capital and will reduce the overcrowding in the two existing ones and the state owned hospitals, he said.

Sharkil Rasul, executive director of the hospital, said the hospital will be equipped with advanced facilities to enhance the service quality for patients.

He said the hospital will introduce 24-hour laboratory and pathology services as well as 24-hour pharmacy.

Steven Zhang, a senior worker of the Red East Construction Ltd, said they had completed several large projects in the country, including the Broadhurst Magistrate Court.

As part of its social responsibility, the Chinese company has always trained local laborers on skills they lack in their job, said Zhang.


Japanese used automobiles lead in Botswana’s vehicle imports

GABORONE Botswana (Xinhua) -- A report released Wednesday on automobile registrations by Statistics Botswana, the country’s data authority, indicates that Japan continues to lead in the African nation’s vehicle imports.

The report covering the April-June period this year shows that 13,470 vehicles were registered, and most of these came from Japan, said Burton Mguni, Statistician General.

“Most of the vehicles came from Japan with 88.5 percent being used vehicles. The second highest number of vehicles came from South Africa with 3.2 percent being used vehicles,” said Mguni.

He said vehicles registered for the first time in 2018 also went up by 7 percent in the second quarter compared to the previous quarter. 



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