Lesotho Business Forum at Expo 2020 Dubai Wrapped Up Successfully
The Lesotho Business Forum was held on the 28th of October 2021 at the Business Connect Centre, Expo 2020 Dubai. It was themed “Lesotho Rising to Prosperity”. The Lesotho Business Forum welcomed up to a hundred participants including top speakers at the Expo 2020, with the agenda to promote and address the investment friendly business environment of Lesotho.
The Lesotho Business Forum brought together ministers, government officials, public and private sector organizations, investors, policy experts & advisors who discussed significant areas of growth and key investment opportunities in Lesotho, such as topics of interest in establishing a conducive business environment, policy & regulatory updates, new laws of the country, new projects and opportunities for investors, training & skills development, and sector value chain development. The country’s priority sectors and opportunities presented are agriculture & agro-processing, manufacturing, tourism & creative industries, technology & innovation, and major infrastructure development.
The Lesotho Business Forum commenced with a welcome note from Hon. Ntlhoi Motsamai, Minister of Tourism, Environment & Culture, Lesotho, followed by a keynote presentation on “The Investment Opportunities in Lesotho”, from Mr. Molise Ramaili, Interim CEO, Lesotho National Development Corporation.
Following the keynote presentation, a panel discussion was held on the topic, “Lesotho Investment Climate & Investment Opportunities”. The panellists in this discussion included Mr. Molise Ramaili, Interim CEO, Lesotho National Development Corporation Mr. Sam Matekane, Chairman of Matekane Group of Companies, Mr. Matjato Moteane, Chairman of Sekhametsi Investment Consortium, Mr. Thabo Khasipe, Commissioner General, Lesotho Revenue Authority and Mr. Sehlabaka Ramafikeng, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation.
The keynote addresses and panel discussions were concluded with a closing ceremony and a photo session, which was also attended by Their Majesties King Letsie III and Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso. The events were then followed by G2G, G2B and B2B networking sessions within the venue.
Lesotho has a thriving economy which relies on diamonds mining, manufacturing of textiles and garments, footwear, light engineering products and automotive components, water exports, and agriculture as its major economic activities. The country’s revenues are dominated by exports earnings, remittances, and regional customs revenue. A majority of agricultural inputs are imported from South Africa by Lesotho. Lesotho’s natural resources include water and diamonds and the country also earns through water exports to South Africa, which account for about 10% of GDP, through the Lesotho Highlands Water Project.
Hon. Ntlhoi Motsamai – Minister of Tourism, Environment & Culture, Lesotho, said “I am proud to see that participants at the Lesotho Business Forum have witnessed and learned more about the abundant opportunities available to strengthen Lesotho’s investment environment, along with our country’s future investment projects, in order to maximize the potential for business growth and expansion, all geared towards achieving economic success through innovation and sustainability.”
She concluded, “I believe that Lesotho boasts some of the most high-quality natural resources on the planet. With a strong economy, rich farmland and bountiful mineral wealth, Lesotho is progressively building towards a brighter future.”
Mr. Walid Farghal, Director General of the Annual Investment Meeting stated, “We are happy to host the Lesotho Business Forum in Dubai, creating numerous opportunities for the country. Lesotho has taken great initiatives in order to make doing business in the country easier. The Government of Lesotho (GOL) implemented a number of promising initiatives and has taken measures that concern foreign entrepreneurs and investors during the same period. I am proud to say that Lesotho’s attractiveness as a foreign direct investment destination will be greatly impacted by future African investment trends. Lesotho has vast untapped economic potential and it is with this vast potential, the “Invest in Lesotho Forum” became a powerful impetus in order to strengthen the country’s economic stability, sustainability, and growth.”
Participants attended the “Lesotho Business Forum” to learn more about the business environment of Lesotho and to learn more about the investment opportunities within Lesotho. The event brought uplifting speeches from key speakers and participants were inspired by business stories that are expected to bring change to the country for the better. The Lesotho Business Forum served as a catalyst to bring in investments and FDI to the country, in order to shape the future of the country positively.