Taking your business into Africa is no easy feat, but some countries are easier to penetrate than others, offering similar markets to the South African environment. One such country is that of Botswana – a mere four and a half hours away from Johannesburg.
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Businesses looking to grow into the rest of Africa tend to find that the consumer markets in countries further from the South African border differ drastically from the local market, making it more challenging to find the right niche for their products and services. With this in mind, businesses often have to tweak their product offering or services to fit the new market.
However, countries closer to South Africa tend to have the same market characteristics, making it that much easier for businesses to expand into. As a first port of call when expanding your footprint, your business could consider moving into a country that isn’t more than a stone’s throw away from SA’s borders.
Take Botswana: A country that is little over four hours’ drive away from Johannesburg and offers an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in. The country is actively seeking means to diversify its economy through its various sectors. Indicated as one of the fourth most competitive economy’s in Africa, Botswana is listed as one of the easiest countries (within Africa) to do business in.
Related: Doing business in Botswana ranking declines
What makes Botswana an attractive investment option
1. Foreign exchange policy
Currently, Botswana doesn’t have foreign exchange controls or restrictions on capital outflows from financial institutions, encouraging the growth and development of investor activity within its borders.
2. Investor protection
The country has implemented practices in its legal code guarantee investor protection, allowing for a competitive and accessible investor market. As a signatory to the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), Botswana is committed to ensuring security for investors.
3. Double Tax Avoidance Treaties
Botswana has signed a Double Taxation Avoidance (DTA) treaty with South Africa and 12 other countries, ensuring that businesses outside of SA are not taxed twice on their earnings.
Related: 5 Reasons to do business in Botswana
Businesses will find that the electricity tariffs in Botswana are the highest in Southern Africa, due to the large dependency on South Africa for supply and the re-location of certain energy-intensive industries to neighbouring countries.
5. Skilled population
Botswana is predominantly an English speaking country and has developed human resource skills in the mining, construction, financial services, tourism and travel sectors. Employment regulations are also moderately flexible.