Botswana’s Foreign Minister Lemogang Kwape’s visit to India will strengthen bilateral relations between both countries, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said while welcoming him in New Delhi.
Taking to Twitter, Bagchi said, “A warm welcome to Foreign Minister Lemogang Kwape of Botswana on his first official visit to India. The visit will further strengthen our bilateral relations. @BWGovernment.”
Botswana’s Foreign Minister, who is on a six-day visit to India, will depart for Agra to attend a programme, according to the statement released by MEA.
Kwape is expected to go to Vadodara, on the second day of his visit, and on the very next day, he will meet External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in Gujarat.
India’s relations with Botswana have been close and friendly. India established diplomatic relations with Botswana immediately after its independence in 1966 and opened its diplomatic mission in Gaborone in 1987. Botswana established its Mission in New Delhi in 2006.
On the trade and commerce side, Botswana offers a business-friendly atmosphere and welcomes foreign investment. Botswana is heavily dependent on diamonds which form approx. 40 per cent of its GDP and almost 70 per cent of its export earnings come from this single natural resource.
Botswana State Enterprises like the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) and Botswana Chamber of Commerce and Industry have played an important role in the development of Small Scale Industries in Botswana, while CII and FICCI have been playing an important role in creating investment opportunities between the two countries.
Vice President Masisi and his delegation participated in a business seminar jointly organized by the CII and Botswana Investment Trade Centre (BITC) in Mumbai on October 27, 2015. The Vice President was in India to attend the IAFS III Summit.
Botswana is a mineral-rich country and offers great potential for investment in the mining sector. The Indian diamond companies and businessmen, especially from Gujarat (Surat) have always shown keen interest in buying rough diamonds as well as in investment in the downstream industries in the diamond sector, mainly in the cutting and polishing of the rough diamonds.
At present three major Indian companies, Shrenuj, Blue Star and KGK Diamonds have offices and factories in Botswana.
The Indian community in Botswana is fairly active. There are five Hindu temples, two Gurudwaras and three mosques. There are about 12 Indian socio-cultural community associations which actively engage themselves in the celebration of various Indian cultural festivals/ events.
Prominent socio-cultural functions observed by the Indian community in Botswana are Holi, Ram Navmi, Shivaratri, Dandia, Diwali, Onam, Durga Puja, Baisakhi and Guru Nanak Devji’s birth anniversary. The Indian sociocultural events attract a large gathering. There is also a Sai Temple and a newly built ISKCON Temple in Gaborone.