Gaborone: Indian Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that India and Botswana were amongst the fastest growing economies in the world, with growth rates of over 7 per cent a year, adding that their bilateral trade had increased by an impressive 27 per cent over the period of one year. He was speaking at the inauguration of the 13th Global Expo Botswana, the largest business meets in the southern African country organised by the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC), here on Wednesday. He was accompanied by his Botswanian counterpart Slumber Tsogwane and Botswana’s Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Bogolo J. Kenewendo, who, at 31years, is the youngest woman member of Botswana’s Parliament and also the youngest member of the Botswana cabinet.
“We are quite impressed by Botswana’s political stability and its consistent status of being the fastest growing economy in Africa. We have about 25 Indian companies present at this forum to look at investment opportunities, the largest-ever delegation from India to Botswana,” Naidu told the gathering. Most of the companies from India came from the state of Gujarat and from south India and cover sectors such as health, ITC, food processing, energy, textiles, education and manufacturing.
“India and Botswana already collaborate in terms of security, defence, trade, business, health and the bilateral trade has grown to $1.75 billion in 2017-18 - an impressive growth of 27 percent over the previous year,” Naidu added. The Vice President also spoke of the contribution of the Indian diaspora to the development of Africa. “Lots of Indian diaspora have been based in Botswana since its independence and they contribute to employment generation and to the local economy,” Naidu added. Representing 40 per cent of Botswana’s GDP and 70 per cent of its exports, diamonds remain the principal sector of collaboration between India and Botswana. (IANS)