Monday, July 5, 2010

Remarks H.H. the Vice President Lt. Gen. Mompati S. Merafhe on the Occasion of the Business Lunch hosted by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)

source: Republic of Botswana (29/6/10) TAUTONA TIMES no 9 of 2010
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline and Delivery"


Chairman, South Gujarat Zonal Council of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)

Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs

Captains of Industry and Members of the CII Community

Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. I would like to thank you for the warm welcome you extended to me and my delegation.

2. Let me also take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for hosting this very important interactive meeting. As you know, I am accompanied by representatives of the Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA), the Botswana International Financial Services Centre (IFSC), the Botswana Tourism Organization (BTO) and the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH), whose presence in this business meeting will catalyse a robust and meaningful interaction with the audience in attendance today. Some of you in this audience will recall that in March this year, these organisations, led by the Botswana High Commission based here in New Delhi, had exchanges with the Indian business community on investment opportunities in Botswana and on how best the commercial relations could be explored to their full potential. We are therefore privileged to have this opportunity to once again, interact with you, both at Government and Private Sector levels.

3. Botswana and India enjoy very cordial bilateral relations, characterised by mutual respect and regular political consultations. Our ties have manifested themselves in the form of development assistance as well as private investment flows from India. Botswana has a large number of the Indian community, some of whom have become an integral part of our society. I must say though, that as a country we do recognise that both trade and investment between our two countries is still minimal. This certainly does not signify the absence of viable business opportunities in both our countries, but it is a wakeup call for us to put more effort and emphasis on exploring and utilising these opportunities to their full potential.

4. I am happy to announce that during my current visit, I will officially open the BEDIA Liaison Office in Mumbai. This office will serve as a one-stop information centre for all your enquiries on trade and investment in Botswana, and it will also help in cementing the foundation for long lasting commercial relations between our two countries.

5. Ladies and Gentlemen, the significance of trade and investment cannot be overemphasised. It is for this reason that our two Governments continue to put in place instruments to reaffirm our commitment to strengthening business relations between our two countries.

6. I am pleased to note that Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) in Botswana and National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) in India have just signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will facilitate cooperation between small scale enterprises in Botswana and India. Tomorrow, our two Governments will sign two Agreements in the fields of Science and Technology and Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs). These instruments will certainly drive multi-sectoral economic cooperation between our two countries.

7. Ladies and Gentlemen, let me end my remarks on this note and give way to the experts to make more detailed presentations on investment opportunities in Botswana. I hope that you will find the presentations stimulating and useful. I thank you.

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