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Why Botswana?
Stability and low business risks

Botswana is a shining example of stability in Southern Africa, maintaining a stable society record since independence in 1966, with regular multi-party democratic elections. According to the United Nations, “ Botswana 's greatest assets are peace, law & order, disciplined fiscal and monetary policies, capable public institutions.” This fact has been also confirmed by Moody's Investor Services as well as Standard and Poors (S&P) . Both agencies have given Botswana sovereign credit ratings of ‘A' which have remained unchanged for seven consecutive years.

Easy to start and operate business
In terms of ease of doing business, Botswana was rated third among African countries and number 38 out of 181 countries worldwide by the World Bank survey of “Doing Business” in year 2009 . Botswana has investor-friendly business reforms. Botswana is cited among the leading global innovators in the critical areas of the ease of starting a business, reform of labour laws, and contract enforcement procedures. Companies starting business in Botswana can enjoy packaged investor solutions not only from the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) but also from governmental investment agencies ( www.ifsc.co.bw ; www.bdc.bw ; www.bedia.co.bw ) and enjoy the benefits of several schemes.
Business opportunities from economic growth

Botswana has a reputation as the best-performing economy in Africa . From the ‘60s to the ‘90s Botswana made an impressive leap from being one of the poorest nations in the world to becoming a middle income country and therefore has been compared to the South East Asian “tiger” economies. In 2007 per capita income for Botswana was around US$6500, the highest in mainland sub-Saharan Africa . The largest contributor to economic development is the mining industry. Botswana is among the world's biggest producers of diamonds. To maintain the economic growth rates, the Botswana government is now implementing a well planned policy of economic diversification. Thus, initiatives such as Botswana Innovation Hub are geared towards diversifying the country's economy from heavy dependence on mining.

Access to educated and English speaking workforce

Education has been and continues to be a high priority in Botswana and has always been allocated the highest portion of the national budget. The country has produced a workforce with a literacy rate of nearly 80%, a high rate among African nations. The medium of instruction at schools and universities is English, thus giving a language advantage to local people. Botswana continues to invest heavily in education, with all secondary schools equipped with computer equipment.  The government is now finalising internet connections and personal e-mails for all students.  Currently the University of Botswana is being expanded.  A new university for Science and Technology is also being established.  Government is also investing in attracting educational institutions of repute from all over the world.

A liberal Financial Environment and free flow of capital

The country has a thriving domestic financial sector, which includes banks, insurance companies and a growing stock market. The country has one of the highest foreign exchange reserves among the developing world and a well regulated commercial banking system.

Capital can be moved without restriction in Botswana . There are no foreign exchange controls and profit, dividends and capital can be readily repatriated. Investors will also have access to Botswana's expanding Double Taxation Treaty network, at present comprising South Africa, United Kingdom, Mauritius, Sweden, France, Zimbabwe, Namibia, India, and Russia, Barbados and Seychelles

Low Corporate Tax

Corporate tax rates in Botswana are the lowest in the sub-region at 15% for specific sectors, such as manufacturing (for approved companies), as well as financial services and BPO's for export, and at 25% for other companies. In special cases companies can negotiate for a tax holiday under a Special Tax Agreement.

The personal income tax system is progressive and the top marginal rate is 25%.

VAT is at a low rate of 10% on standard rated supplies while some supplies are zero-rated and others are exempted.

A Hub for international trade

Botswana enjoys good market access not only in the sub-region but also to US and EU:

  • Duty and Quota free access to a market of more than 50 million consumers through the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), comprising Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia .
  • Preferential access to more than 200 million consumers in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) market under the SADC Free Trade Area.
  • Duty and Quota free access to the US market through the African Growth and Opportunity Act, AGOA.
  • Duty and Quota Free market Access under the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA) between SADC and the European Union (EU).

Botswana also enjoys good labour relations, including a good relationship with the trade unions, and can offer an educated English speaking labour force which is readily trainable and at competitive wage rates.

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