Botswana woos Surat Diamantaires And Textile entrepreneurs for Investment

His Excellency Gilbert Shiman Mongol, the High Commissioner of Botswana, highlighted the benefits for Surat diamantaires and textile entrepreneures


SURAT, GUJARAT : In a bid to boost its domestic diamond cutting and polishing industry, Botswana is setting its sights on Surat’s expertise. A delegation led by Dipopego Julius Sheko, the country’s Director of International Business and Trade, visited the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SGCCI) to extend an invitation to Surat’s diamantaires and textile entrepreneurs.

“We are looking for Surat’s support in encouraging local beneficiation in our diamond industry,” stated Sheko. “By setting up units in Botswana, you can export finished diamonds to over 54 countries, including the lucrative US market.”

This initiative aligns perfectly with Botswana’s vision of economic diversification. The nation, a leader in rough diamond mining, currently exports a significant portion of its raw materials.

Ramesh Vaghasia, President of SGCCI, acknowledged the existing trade ties between India and Botswana. “India is a major buyer of rough diamonds from Botswana,” he said. “Furthermore, Surat polishes over 90% of the world’s diamonds, earning its title as the Diamond City.”

Vaghasia emphasized the potential for a broader partnership. “Surat boasts a thriving textile and pharmaceutical industry alongside its diamond expertise,” he explained. “We encourage Botswana to import these high-quality products and explore increased trade opportunities with India.”

His Excellency Gilbert Shiman Mongol, the High Commissioner of Botswana, highlighted the benefits for Surat’s entrepreneurs. “By establishing diamond and textile manufacturing units in Botswana, you can export not only to the US but also to over 54 African nations, including South Africa,” he said. “The income generated can be repatriated to Surat and India, and our government welcomes such ventures.”

Mongol further emphasized the cultural connection between the two nations. “A vibrant Indian community, including Gujaratis, resides in Botswana,” he stated. “We invite Surat’s entrepreneurs to leverage this familiarity and explore business opportunities in our country.”

The High Commissioner announced an upcoming trade event, the Global Expo Botswana, scheduled for October/November 2024. “This expo will provide a platform for one-on-one meetings with industrialists, importers, and exporters,” he explained. “We invite a delegation from the SGCCI and Surat’s industrialists to participate in this event.”

Dipopego Julius Sheko elaborated on Botswana’s economic standing. “Our nation boasts a stable environment, recognized as one of the safest in the world,” he said. “In 2010 alone, Botswana exported a staggering $8.3 billion worth of products.”

Highlighting the existing economic ties within the region, Sheko added, “We share borders with South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. While rough diamond production is a mainstay of our economy, it contributes only 4% to our GDP. This is where Surat’s expertise becomes crucial.”

Sheko went on to detail the various incentives offered by the Botswana government to attract foreign investment, particularly in Special Economic Zones. He concluded by inviting Surat’s diamond industry to establish cutting and polishing units in Botswana, paving the way for a mutually beneficial partnership.