Republic of Botswana
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Foreign Investors

How much money is expected to bring into the country to start my business?

Currently there is no legislation nor is an investment code which stipulates how much an investor expected to bring into the country as contribution to the project. However financial institutions like BDC and NDB require a minimum of at least 25% of the total project cost from the investor. On the other hand, BEDIA asks investors to contribute as much as they can since that will demonstrate the investors's commitment to the project.

Is it compulsory for me to have a local partner?

Investors are not obliged to enter into partnership with local parties unless if they so wish. Hence the project can be 100% foreign owned if the investor wants it that way. It is however advisable to have local participation because locals know the local market very well. BEDIA can assist in terms of identifying potential local partners. 

Will I be allowed to bring some skilled labour to Botswana to train local staff for a given time period?

Yes, it's allowed as long as there is proof that the skills the investor is bringing into the country is not locally available 

Are there any tax holidays?

There is the Development Approval Order, which is available for investors for a period of 5 to 10 years. It's administered by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.

What are the working hours in Botswana?

A nine-hour five day week or an eight hour six day week is normally observed. A break of at least 30 minutes must be given after five consecutive hours of work.

A rest day, of not less than 24 consecutive hours, normally including Sunday, must be given in every period of seven consecutive days.

What is the impact of HIV in Botswana?

Government has been at the forefront in terms of fighting the scourge and presently affected people are given anti-retroviral drugs at the Government clinics and hospitals. In addition to this, there are some private companies who have followed suit in providing their employees with ARV's. These continued and extended programmes of HIV/AIDS prevention, control and education has actually led to an improved life expectancy in Botswana.

I have a commodity? I want to export, how can you assist in getting me a market?

  • Participating in Trade Fairs where BEDIA will provide logistical support for your freight and insurance costs of your exhibits to and from the exhibition place, as well as pay for your exhibition.
  • Agents periodically visit Botswana wanting to source certain products manufactured in Botswana. BEDIA takes them to factories, which satisfy their requirements.
  • Participation in contact promotion missions where BEDIA provides logistical support to companies who wish to participate.

I want to participate in the trade fair/Contact promotion mission you advertised what are the prerequisites?

  • Basic Export marketing plan have to be submitted
  • You have to demonstrate to us that you have the capacity in terms of labour and technology that your products are worth being introduced in international markets.
  • A site visit by BEDIA personnel to confirm you are in production is part of the requisites.
  • Certificate of Incorporation and manufacturing licence is a requirement.
Tourism Sector – Grading System

The system provides a framework to industry investors in designing their facilities to attract the desired market groups. Basically, the role of grading is to protect the consumer and for the accommodation establishment to benchmark their performance against set standards.

The need to develop grading standards for the tourism industry in Botswana was initiated in 1990 through the Botswana Tourism Policy. The policy makes an indication that due to lack of standards, what is available to the tourists is what the unregulated private sector supplies; a situation whereby some facilities and amenities offered are of the highest quality while others are far below international standards.

Besides economic reasons, government recognized the need to project a favourable image to the outside world in terms of quality and service of tourist accommodation establishments in the country. In this regard, government wanted to recognise through grading those establishments that have properly designed, planned maintained and implemented the grading requirements.

Following the Tourism Policy, Government promulgated the Tourism Act in 1992.  The Act provides that all tourism facilities providing accommodation is graded in accordance with the grading requirements listed under the Tourism Regulations of 1996. These include all facilities throughout the country such as hotels, guesthouses, lodges and self catering apartments.

How to apply for Grading?

The assessment is done with the cooperation and full knowledge of the operators. Operators are required to provide details of their operations as well as the desired grades of their facilities. The information is provided through the application form that has to be submitted to the Board.

Click here for an application form (PDF - 32Kb).