Diversification major government objective
GABORONE - Diversification is a major objective for government, the
Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Charles
Tibone, has said.
We want to move away from a mono-culture economy that is mainly
dependent on diamonds and attract local investment, he said, adding
that, I am also happy that it was the right initiative to have a
product like IFSC doing the work for the economy.
Mr Tibone was addressing the Botswana International Financial
Services Centre (IFSC) management staff during a familiarisation tour
last Thursday. Mr Tibone said he wanted to understand IFSC operations and those of its accredited companies.
He said IFSC and its accredited companies represented what the
country wanted to advance towards, which is the diversification of all
sectors. In addition, he pointed out that IFSC was one of the main agencies
of his ministry and for that reason he said it was important for him to
know how it was doing.
Mr Tibone also mentioned that he was impressed that IFSC was predominantly a Batswana-run organisation. We want to become key players not only in the region but in the
international economy and we would also like to see Botswana as a
higher income economy. We are part of the world economy so we would
like to offer world class service, he said. Mr Tibone assured IFSC that the ministry would support it and its accredited companies.
During his visit to IFSC, Mr Tibone had the opportunity to interact
with the directors of four IFSC accredited companies and they discussed
the work of the companies, their company strategies and the challenges
they faced. All the four directors from Ariya Capital, ABN AMRO Bank, Bourse
Africa and PTA Solutions said they had found their relationship with
IFSC useful. For his part, IFSC CEO, Mr Alan Boshwaen said since its inception in
2003, IFSC had accredited 35 companies of which 25 had successfully
embarked on regional financial and business operations.
In the financial year ending March 2009, operating IFSC companies
had invested cumulative capital amounting to P6 billion and contributed
P87 million in tax revenue. Operating IFSC companies currently employ
585 skilled financial and business professionals, he noted.