The Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA) is to organise an investment promotion mission to Malaysia from November 20 to 24 2000 it announced today.

The organisation aims to attract Malaysian investments in the garment and spin and weave operations in the textile sector to meet the substantial global demand for African yarn and African fabric. There are currently some 25 companies manufacturing garments in Botswana, which are exported to the European Union, the US and South Africa.

EU and US market access
In a statement released in Kuala Lumpur, BEDIA attributed the rapid growth of the textile industry in Botswana to its quota and duty free agreement with the European Union. Quota free and duty free access to the US market was also assured if African yarn and fabric was used in the production of garments. Botswana is also a member of the Southern African Development Community and the Southern African Customs Union. "All these conditions make Botswana a haven for the right investor. A system of capital and training grants as well as wage refund is also in place," a BEDIA spokesperson said.

"A package of incentives to assist investors in establishing financially viable operations including good governance and infrastructure such as the establishment of the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime should attract potential investors. It is worth noting that the financial incentives are in the form of capital, employment and training grants. They aim specifically at minimising the investment risks associated with starting a new enterprise or expanding an existing one," the spokesperson concluded..

BEDIA, which was formed in January 1999, claims to have created 3,000 jobs and raised over 50m Pula ($9.3m, £6.6m) in direct investment.