(MENAFN- African Press Organization)
President Cyril Ramaphosa led succesful talks with His Excellency President Mokgweetsi Masisi at the South Africa - Botswana Business Roundtable at the Gaborone International Convention Centre in the Republic of Botswana.
The South Africa - Botswana Business Round Table was on 03 August 2022, preceded by the Business Forum which enhanced linkages, trade and investment and prospective joint venture partnerships between the two countries.
Celebrating 28 years of diplomatic, cultural and economic relations under theme ' Tirisanyo Mmogo ' at the two day business engagement, President Ramaphosa welcomed the 9 FDI projects from Botswana to South Africa worth R 3,9 billion over the last decade.
The High Level South Africa – Botswana Business Roundtable happens at the backdrop of the fifth session of the South Africa-Botswana Bi-National Commission (BNC) which took place on 22 April 2022 in Tshwane.
'Even as our bilateral relations have grown stronger over the years, we want to see far greater levels of trade and investment between our two countries.
As we noted earlier, South Africa's foreign direct investment stock in Botswana reached $5.1 billion last year.' President Ramaphosa said.
At the South Africa - Botswana Business Round Table chaired by the two Heads of State , business leaders from the two sisterly countries participated in identifying measures to address trade and investment barriers as well as strengthening cooperation between government and private sector in maximizing localization, export promotion efforts and industrialization.
President Ramaphosa principally agreed to a feasible joint public - private partnership investment of both governments on the 129 km Lephalale - Mamabule rail line which will enhance regional value chains.
The President further called for accelerated investment in catalytic development projects particularly in infrasture which have a positive ripple effect on sectors among them manufacturing, logistics, tourism and technology.
President Ramaphosa highlighted that the Southern African region has the potential to distinguish itself worldwide as an economic bloc in multiple areas of specialisation due to its abundance of natural resources and skills.
President Ramaphosa expressed confidence at the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) programme of creating industrial value chains in leather and leather products, textiles, fresh produce, meat and meat products, clothing, cosmetics and essential oils.
The President also implored that women and youth run businesses in both countries should partake in these value chains to grow the respective economies.
The President also welcomed Botswana's declaration of opening all border posts to South Africa following the easing of COVID-19 regulations which will speed up trade and economic recovery between the two countries.
President Ramaphosa was accompanied by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Dr Naledi Pandor, Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel and a South African business delegation including representatives from across a range of sectors including pharmaceuticals, automotive, manufacturing and agriculture.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Presidency: Republic of South Africa.
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