Investment Policy Review: Botswana
Foreign direct investment (FDI) was a driving force in Botswana ´s rapid graduation from a least developed to a middle-income country. The government´s handling of the fiscal, social and economic pressures of this transformation could be a model for other resource-dependent economies. At the time of the IPR, and with an eye on empowering its citizens, the government was proposing a foreign investment code restricting FDI in a number of industries.
The IPR suggested an alternative approach to FDI, making the case for a modern foreign investment law and building on the country´s historically welcoming regime. This meant developing a coherent FDI strategy, rooted in Botswana´s existing investment attractiveness (conferred by its excellent governance) but embracing additional, more pro-active elements.
Taking full advantage of market access arrangements.
Reinforcing such temporal advantages through attention to sustained long-term policy actions aimed at direct competitiveness factors.
Encouraging local private business and the development of human resources.
Ensuring the coherence and consistency of Botswana´s policies, including investment promotion efforts.
Following the publication of the IPR, UNCTAD has assisted the Government in a number of ways. The activities and technical assistance have included:
drafting an overall investment promotion strategy and an investment law;
providing advices on integrating FDI into a national development strategy;
training of government officials on the negotiations of bilateral investment treaties;
organization of a round of negotiations in which a number of BITs were successfully concluded by Botswana;
providing a benchmarking study on international practice in regulating the entry of foreigners to the workforce;
assistance to the Government in elaboration an investment promotion strategy for the garments and textiles sector.