Le­sotho to woo UK in­vestors

Lesotho Times - - Business - Bereng Mpaki

DEPUTY Prime Min­is­ter Mo­thetjoa Metsing will next month lead a del­e­ga­tion of gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and busi­ness ex­ec­u­tives to the United King­dom to so­licit for in­vest­ment into Le­sotho.

Ac­cord­ing to Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Joshua Setipa, the tour would be held from 4-6 April 2016 and dubbed Le­sotho In­vest­ment Fo­rum 2016.

He said the min­istry was or­gan­is­ing the trip in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Le­sotho Na­tional Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (LNDC) as the coun­try’s in­vest­ment pro­mot­ing agency. Among the sec­tors for which in­vest­ment would be sought were min­ing, tourism, agri­cul­ture and in­fra­struc­ture.

Le­sotho is in dire need of for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment (FDI) to stim­u­late eco­nomic growth and cre­ate jobs. Mr Setipa said it was im­por­tant to en­gage and en­cour­age UK in­vestors and busi­nesses to con­sider in­vest­ing in the coun­try.

“Next week we will be fly­ing to the United King­dom with the aim of pro­mot­ing in­vest­ment in dif­fer­ent sec­tors of our econ­omy,” he told the Le­sotho Times this week.

“The del­e­ga­tion will be made up of the Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Mo­thetjoa Metsing, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the LNDC, se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials from min­istries such as Trade and In­dus­try, Min­ing and Tourism. How­ever, the itin­er­ary for the trip is yet to be fi­nalised.”

The min­is­ter said the del­e­ga­tion would also in­clude rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the pri­vate sec­tor, who would be ex­pected to take ad­van­tage of the net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties the visit presents and also to im­prove their busi­ness skills.

The trip would be a fol­low up to a sim­i­lar tour to Lon­don in 2014 led by then premier Thomas Tha­bane. In his re­marks dur­ing the tour, D Tha­bane said: “My sin­cere wish is that this fo­rum will rekin­dle in­ter­est for Le­sotho as a des­ti­na­tion for in­vest­ment plans. We are in­deed open for busi­ness.”

He said Le­sotho of­fered in­vestors a young labour force, flex­i­ble tax in­cen­tives, com­pet­i­tive wage rates and a gate­way to lu­cra­tive mar­kets in the south­ern African re­gion.

Le­sotho al­ready has FDI orig­i­nat­ing from the UK in the min­ing sec­tor with Gem Di­a­mond which is the ma­jor­ity share­holder of Letšeng Di­a­mond Mine.

Fire­stone Di­a­monds is an­other UK com­pany that is op­er­at­ing in Le­sotho. The com­pany op­er­ates and owns a 75 per­cent share­hold­ing

TRADE and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Joshua Setipa.

DEPUTY Prime Min­is­ter Mo­thetjoa Metsing.

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