Botswana flag Botswana: Investing in Botswana

Investment framework and opportunities in Botswana

Procedures Relative to Foreign Investment

Freedom of Establishment

Foreign investors usually receive equal treatment; however, this is not guaranteed by law, as there is no legal provision on the matter. There are also additional restrictions in favour of local investors:

  • 30% of government construction contracts is reserved for citizens
  • Agricultural lands cannot be to transferred to non-citizens without ministerial approval. Companies that are majority foreign-owned are also considered as non-citizens
  • Financial incentive schemes – such as the Credit Guarantee Scheme and a loan fund for citizen contractors - are not open to foreign investors.
Acquisition of Holdings
Foreign investors can fully own companies, purchase existing local companies or establish joint-ventures. However, foreign ownership is limited in small-scale businesses that are reserved to citizens (including butcheries, general trading establishments, gas stations, liquor stores, supermarkets): foreigners can participate as minority joint venture partners in medium-sized businesses. They can hold the majority share if they obtain written approval from the trade minister.
Obligation to Declare
Foreign investors must register with the Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA). The company registration process takes around 14 days; however, foreign investors should allow 48 days to complete additional required registrations such as tax registrations, opening bank accounts, and obtaining necessary licenses and permits.
Competent Organisation For the Declaration
Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry
Requests For Specific Authorisations
Foreign direct investment (FDI) is not permitted in small-scale businesses in retail trade services and manufacturing in order to protect local entrepreneurs. Furthermore, important utilities and services remain under State ownership and are not open to private investment - foreign or national. There are no restrictions in growing sectors such as mining, tourism, financial services and most mid- and large-scale manufacturing. However, trade and non-financial services, manufacturing and tourism all require a licence.

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Investment Opportunities

Investment Aid Agency
Botswana Investment and Trade Centre
Tenders, Projects and Public Procurement
Global Tenders, Government Tender Notices from Botswana
African Development Bank Group, Tenders in Botswana
Online Tenders, Tenders in Botswana
Central District Council Botswana, Tenders in the Central District (Botswana)
Other Useful Resources
Botswana National Development Bank
Botswana Development Corporation
Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency

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Latest Update: April 2024