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Lesotho embarks on investment drive in SA

Ntsebeng Motsoeli

GOVERNMENT will tomorrow embark on a three-day investment drive in Johannesburg, South Africa.

According to the Minister of Trade and Industry, S’khulumi Ntsoaole, the initiative seeks to encourage Basotho in the diaspora to invest back home while also targeting foreign businesses.

Led by the Lesotho National Development Corporation, the Lesotho — Republic of South Africa (RSA) Trade and Investment

Promotion will comprise a branding event tomorrow evening, followed by a business forum on Tuesday and roundtable with development-partners on Wednesday.

Announcing the initiative at a press conference in Maseru, Ntsoaole further said he had already engaged some Basotho with rare expertise who are working outside the country.

“The objective of the Lesotho — RSA roadshow is to generate interest and increase trade between Lesotho and South Africa and attract diversified investment into Lesotho,” Ntsoaole said.
“The campaign targets South African investors and also businesses of foreign origin but are located in South Africa. The campaign seeks to plug Lesotho into regional and global value chains.
“At the heart of the promotional event, our delegation will take time to engage the Lesotho diaspora in talks. Our research and findings have convinced us that this is an integral part of our strategy for the coming years, hence the need to focus in this direction, particularly to reinforce domestic investment activities.
“I spoke to some doctors recently, and they said they would even volunteer to come on a regular basis to help out where there is need. We know there are Basotho heading big companies in South Africa. We need them to come and use their
experience for the development of our economy.”

The minister further announced the campaign would be taken to other South African provinces throughout the year.
“Through this trade and investment promotion drive, we expect to see an increase in the number of site visits from potential investors, as well as a healthy increase in the companies coming to invest in Lesotho.”

Speaking at Friday’s press briefing, the LNDC Head of Investment Promotion, Mokhethi Shelile, said the corporation would ensure there was enough accommodation for every incoming investor.
“We are still short of factory shells, but this cannot stop us from soliciting foreign investors. We also have to have someone waiting to take over space when a company closes shop,” Shelile said.

LNDC caretaker chief executive officer, Tseko Bohloa, said the upcoming event would be a chance for Lesotho to showcase its business potential.

“A lot of negative messages have been overplayed about us. Now it is time to overplay a positive message of good business opportunities,” Bohloa said.

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