The Minister of Trade and Industry, Honourable Mmusi Kgafela today participated at the United Nation Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 8th World Investment Forum held at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. World Investment Forum (WIF) takes centre stage as a pivotal platform to tackle global investment and development challenges, with a focus on food security, climate change and health care investment. Further aims to explore innovative solutions and promote responsible investment practices for a more sustainable global landscape.
The Investment Ministerial Roundtable addressed the key investment challenges caused by today’s multiple global crises, including the need for investment in food security, health systems, supply chain resilience and productive capacity growth in developing countries. A particular focus was on climate finance and investment and the energy transition.
The Honourable Minister underscored the importance for governments and development partners to focus on resolving the widening gap between investment in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the growth of sustainable finance. He further raised a critical concern on the annual increase in the investment gap across all the Sustainable Development Goals since 2015 as per the UNCTAD World Investment Report of 2023, particularly in important sectors such as energy, water and transport infrastructure, which are critical to sustainable development.
The Honourable Minister expressed his elation over the traction on the issues of innovation and technology-driven investment in various sectors, by many governments. He further highlighted that the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation and e-commerce, revealing the critical role of technology in maintaining economic resilience and ensuring public welfare, especially as it relates to local vaccine production.
On issues of experiences and lessons in investment policy for sustainable development, the Honourable Minister highlighted that Botswana has actively sought to diversify her economy beyond the traditional reliance on diamond mining. The Government of Botswana aims to reduce her vulnerability to fluctuations in global commodity prices through the encouragement of investments in sectors such as agriculture, tourism and renewable energy. He further shared that lessons from this approach include the importance of a long-term vision, political stability and a commitment to nurturing a business-friendly environment.
Moreover, the Honourable Minister highlighted that Botswana continues to prioritise investment in education and skills development, which is critical to economic diversification and further responds to His Excellency the President`s aspirations to transform Botswana into a knowledge based economy. Additionally, the Hon Minister emphasized that Botswana`s investment policies prioritize environmental conservation and responsible resource management, acknowledging that long-term prosperity hinges on safeguarding the environment.
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