Botswana Foreign Minister Lemogang Kwape will conclude a six-day visit to India today. Kwape’s mission is to strengthen
Botswana Foreign Minister Lemogang Kwape will conclude a six-day visit to India today.
Kwape’s mission is to strengthen bilateral relations between the two nations by visiting various parts of India and meeting with his Indian counterpart, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. Bilateral trade between Botswana and India totals over $800 million annually.
Botswana is seeking to diversify its economy away from the diamond mining industry, which is responsible for almost 40% of the country’s current GDP and 70% of its export earnings. To this end, an increase in initiatives to develop small industries in Botswana will be strongly pursued in the near future.
Expect Kwape’s visit to place a strong focus on Botswana’s business-friendly economy to boost India’s foreign direct investment in various small industries. Gaborone could be pushed to reform protectionist labor laws and use policies such as visas on arrival and competitive taxes to boost investor attractiveness. However, given the high levels of investment by Indian companies in the diamond mining sector and the existing Indian mining companies in Botswana, this diversification may occur much more slowly than Gaborone would like. Also, Indian investments focus on downstream processes within the diamond mining industry, such as polishing and cutting.