Vice President Venkaiah Naidu Wednesday invited companies in Botswana to seize business opportunities in India, which he said is moving rapidly on the path of economic transformation.
Addressing business leaders at the 13th Global Expo Botswana 2018, Naidu said Botswana and India enjoy a longstanding and enduring partnership as the two countries share the common values of democracy and strong people-to-people ties.
Naidu, who arrived here this evening on the first leg of his three-nation visit to Botswana, Zimbabwe and Malawi, inaugurated the expo along with his Botswanian counterpart Slumber Tsogwane.
Twenty-five Indian companies have taken part in the expo, the largest participation from a single country. “India commends Botswana’s significant role in integrating its regional partners and promoting inclusive growth for Africa, he said.
“I come from a country that has, from time immemorial, believed that the entire world is one large family. It is a country that has espoused peaceful co-existence among nations. It is a country that believes that all the countries should work together to improve human lives,” he said.
India’s engagement with Africa over the last four years has been unprecedented, Naidu said.
“Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set out 10 guiding principles to take our relationship with Africa to even greater heights,” he added.
“In the India-Africa Forum Summit in 2015, India pledged an overall lines of credit of USD 10 Billion for Africa, in addition to USD 600 million as grant and 50,000 scholarships. We are well on our way to fulfilling these pledges,” he said.
India-Botswana business ties have been growing steadily over the years, he said. “Our bilateral trade is valued at USD 1.75 billion in 2017-18. It is impressive to note that our trade has increased by 26 per cent during 2017-18.”
India is moving rapidly on the path of economic transformation with an annual growth rate of over 7 per cent and presents multiple opportunities for Botswana entrepreneurs in various sectors, he added.
“Transformative taxation reforms like the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) has made India a transparent and an integrated market with greater ease of doing business,” he said.
“Aiming to make India the 3rd largest consumer market in the world, we are moving forward to build a five trillion dollar economy by 2025,” he said.
“Today, in India, there is a new enthusiasm, a new dynamism and a new quest for excellence in all spheres,” Naidu said.
The vice president said the Modi government has launched flagship schemes like Swachh Bharat, Make in India, Skill India, Digital India, industrial corridors and smart cities development programmes and asked Botswana companies to “seize these current and emerging” business opportunities.
Naidu’s six-day Africa visit is aimed at boosting bilateral ties with Botswana, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
During the six-day Africa visit, Naidu’s official engagements include meeting presdents of the countries; holding bilateral meetings with his counterparts and delegation level talks; and interacting with business groups and Indian communities.