Investment Policy Review of Botswana

FDI was a driving force in Botswana ´s rapid graduation from least developed to 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.

These include:

  • 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, including:

  • 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