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Trade Ministry transforms Botswana into business hub

Publishing Date : 16 April, 2018


In a quest to revive and enable ease doing of business in Botswana as well as attract investor confidence, the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry intends to amend bills within business sector priorities to bolster business operations in the country.

The Minister responsible for trade, the newly appointed Bogolo Kenewendo said the ministry is on course to amend bills around areas of Registration of Business Names Re-Registration, Registration of Business Names and Companies’ amendment bill respectively. The minister presented the bills to parliament this week and set to be approved by committee.

While presenting the bills, the youthful minister said it is very important to amend the bills within the business sector stating that the bills will enable the ease doing of business and attract investors to Botswana; something which she said will help to boost and diversify the country’s economy including potential employment opportunities. “The amendment of such bills will ensure the effective way of doing business with the introduction of Online Business Registration System (OBRS) which will enable the present businesses or companies to be able to re- register business names.”

Kenwendo further stated that the Registration and Re-registration of Business names Bill is aimed at establishing an act to provide for the registration of existing business names under the re-registration of Business Names Act, and for matters incidental thereto. She continued to state that the Companies Amendment Bill will establish an Act to amend the Companies Act, adding that the objective is to adjust the existing legislation to enable the companies to be registered under the new online system.

Commenting on the effectiveness of the newly established business registration system, she highlighted that the system will ensure that the registration process as well as payment of annual returns by companies will be done in a quicker manner as opposed to the current manual registration which is faced with some difficulties and several backlogs. She noted that the new systems will be linked to other systems such as Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) and Public Procurement Asset Disposal Board (PPADB).

The minister said it is very important to establish new laws to improve the country’s business rankings in the global context by creating conducive business environment which will be interesting to investors through innovative ways of doing business. Moreover, the minister said that her ministry will be more open to young people who are in the business and company industry to assist them on how they can benefit from the new establishments so that their enterprises may be a success.

She also highlighted that the bill will provide for  the deregistration of of dormant or inactive companies, as she stated that clause 2 of the Companies Amendment Bill seeks to amend section 2 of companies act by deleting the meaning of a ‘dormant company.’ She advised businesses and companies to take full advantage of the new developments in order to make their businesses active as they are expected to pay annual returns or tax.

When responding to the bills, Members of Parliament applauded the new developments and Molepolole South legislator Dr Tlamelo Mmatli applauded the Minister for bringing in good turn around strategies in the ministry which plays a pivotal role in the economy of the country. He said the new bills will be more beneficial to youth company owners whose businesses collapsed due to failure to pay annual returns. He pronounced the development as a stepping stone to empowering young entrepreneurs.

For his part, Ndaba Gaolathe also welcomed the developments saying it is a step in the right direction adding that the amendment of bills and introduction of OBRS will improve provision and availability of information about companies. ‘‘It is very interesting to see such kind of improvements because companies are supposed to provide information about themselves, and this will make it easy to monitor them for cases such as money laundering,” Gaolathe said.



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