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Hungarian Trade House opens for local partnerships

Once again, Botswana’s political climate emerged as the trump card as multinational company, the Hungarian National Trading House (HNTC) chose the country as a business hub for the region. Under a franchise agreement with local company, Hungbots Limited, the Hungarian National Trading will run from Botswana as a business hub for ten countries in the region.

Hungbots Limited, under the tutelage of HNTC, will facilitate business activity between Botswana and Hungary, with Botswana as a hub for the Southern African region.

Officially opening the franchise, Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Sadique Kebonang, said that Botswana boasts political stability as well as a Southern African Customs Union market that has a population of 53 million people, as well as a SADC population of 250 million, countering the assertion that being landlord is a disadvantage for trade.

Kebonang said that Botswana has comparative advantage in some sectors, due to raw materials and technologies such as: Information Communications Technologies; Agro-processing in dairy, horticulture, mineral beneficiation; recycling; art and crafts; textiles and clothing; leather and products; renewable energy; banking, insurance and finance; and services.

Kebonang also recognised that there is more to be gained from multinational corporations in the form of skills and technology transfers, foreign exchange and opening up of foreign markets.  

The Hungarian National Trading House (MNKH) was established in 2013 by the Hungarian Government and the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. As part of the new foreign trade strategy "Opening towards the East", the Hungarian National Trading House seeks new markets and new opportunities for Hungarian companies.

The chief executive of Hungary National Trading House (HNTC) told BusinessPost that the local chapter of the organisation is operated by local partners Hungbots which is owned by Duma Boko and Hungarian national Gabor Imre and it will facilitate trade and business synergies that will see Botswana goods and services permeating Europe, with Hungary as the gateway.

“We need to capacitate local businesses with skills transfers with those who are more advanced and to open up Botswana products to different markets,” said Boko, also acknowledging that the Hungarians are noted for being good with leather products.

While the Group aims to make investments into various sectors, Gabor Imre also told this publication that the in the short term, the goal will be to create relationships with existing businesses, especially in technology, engineering, water purification and other solutions.

Gaborone Bonnington North legislator and leader of opposition in Parliament, Duma Gideon Boko, who is also the Executive Chairman of Hungbots Limited, told BusinessPost on the sidelines of the opening ceremony that he convinced the Hungarian National Trading House to set up in Botswana after meetings in Harare, Zimbabwe where he echoed the virtues of Botswana as a good trading environment, hinging on its political stability. Boko said that the potential for Foreign Direct Investment to Botswana is immense and that networks can be exploited to assist Government to attract investment, at minimal cost.

Boko said the connection with the Hungary National Trading House was established when he addressed a conference facilitated by Centre for Global Dialogue and cooperation (CGDC), an organisation founded by, among others, former Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov.

The Hungarian National Trading House answers the needs of the Hungarian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) regarding export potentials necessary for their expansion and thereby the economic growth of Hungary. The activities are built up by two main pillars: filtering the markets and searching for Hungarian companies whose products and services could be competitive on foreign markets while measuring market requirements through Local Trading Houses.

The Hungarian National Trading House offers its partners complex services and supports them in exploring, ensuring and advertising from initial offers to the contracting stages as well as helping its clients in channeling international development projects. To achieve full commercial visibility and reliability for our Hungarian and foreign trade partners, HNTH offers a range of contracting forms ranging from simple legal and financial consultation, through deal negotiation to final trade transactions.  
The Hungarian National Trading House also signed a political dialogue protocol on Tuesday this week and availed 30 scholarships to Botswana nationals, to study in Hungary.

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Food prices continue to rise, but at a slower rate

28th November 2022

Prices for cereals or staple foods in Botswana and other Southern African countries continue to rise at a slower pace, following trends in the global markets, according to the latest November 2022 Food Price Monitoring and Analysis by Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

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Still doing business the old way?

18th November 2022

It’s time to get business done better with MTN Business Botswana’s ICT Solutions.

Running a digital businessMTN Business Solutions Botswana, popularly known as MTN Business is an Internet Service Provider. We are a subsidiary of MTN Group Limited, a multinational telecommunications Group headquartered in South Africa, which operates in 19 markets across Africa and the Middle East.

More and more, clients are looking for ways to keep their staff productive in a dynamically changing business environment. Whether your people are working from home, the office or abroad, there is a growing recognition that digitising your operations can offer unprecedented commercial value in flexibility, productivity and growth. This new, digital reality means that it is more important than ever to stay agile – if there is anything that can slow a business down, it is being burdened by othatld technology.

Having made substantial investments in fibre technology, high-speed terrestrial and undersea networks and new frequency spectrum across the markets wherein it operates, MTN is perfectly positioned to respond to this shift in the market.

A few years ago, MTN also made the decision to build an IP capable radio network for its mobile services, giving its core network the ability to seamlessly integrate with enterprise IP networks. The mobile towers deliver services to enterprise clients absolutely anywhere it has a network, shortening the last mile and removing complexity and cost.

Now there is increasing demand from clients to connect their remote sites in all areas, including rural and semi- rural. MTN has assisted clients with overcoming this connectivity hurdle, enabling their staff to get the job done wherever they are.
MTN’s evolution

For MTN, the focus has shifted from just being a core telecommunications services provider, towards also becoming a technology solutions provider. The service offering now also includes Unified Communications, Data Hosting and Cloud Solutions, Security-As-A-Service and Managed Network Services. The scope has changed to being client and industry specific, so the requirements and service portfolio vary from one client to the next. The expectation is that a company like MTN must respond to these challenges, helping clients to get business done better as they shift from old to new technologies.

As many businesses continue to grapple with a digitally dynamic world, they face new challenges that have to be solved. This environment will benefit those that are more digitally enabled and agile. It is a brave new world that will favour online over on-site, wireless over wired and fluid over formulaic. Businesses will seek out partners and suppliers that are every bit as flexible and forward-looking as they are.
Ultimately, clients need partners like MTN Business that will invest in infrastructure, deliver the services they require, have market credibility, are financially sound and have a long-term commitment to their market presence.

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BIE to vitalize the Dignity of Engineers

9th November 2022

Botswana Institution Of Engineers (BIE), has last week hosted a gala dinner in  which they appreciated engineers who worked tirelessly and with dedication for 10 years from 1983 to steer the BIE to its current status.

The event that was held at the Phakalane Golf Estate had brought together young, experienced and veteran engineers and was held under the theme “Vitalize the dignity and eminence of all professional engineers”.

Explaining the theme, the institution’s treasurer, Thanabalasingam Raveendran said that engineers were looked upon reverentially with respect as the educated but with time it seems to have deteriorated. He indicated that there is a need to change the narrative by all means.

“The BIE exists for the welfare and the betterment of us Botswana engineers, we need to recognize specialised units within our Institution. We Engineers strongly believe in Engineers make it happen” Raveendran said.

He indicated that under the theme they appeal to all engineers to energize, to attain quality of being worthy of honour and respect and to achieve recognized superiority amongst the Society.

Raveendran stated that engineers need to ensure their end product is of good quality satisfying the end users expectations and engineers must be honest in their work.

“Approximately 8000 engineers registered with Engineering Regulatory Board (ERB) are not members of the BIE, engineers need to make every effort to recruit them to BIE” he said.

He alluded that BIE being a society, it currently needs to upgrade itself at par with professional institutions elsewhere like the UK and USA.

He further stated that BIE has to have engineering units of specialised disciplines like Civil/Mechanical/electrical etc

“As President Masisi indicated in his inaugural speech, the young people, who make 60 percent of the population of this country, are the future leaders and therefore investing in them is building the bridge to the future” said Raveendran

Kandima indicated that BIE has a memorandum of Understanding with Engineers Registration Board (ERB), where BIE is a recognised provider of CPD training, mentorship programmes and more importantly IPD undertaking to upgrade the skills and know-how of our engineers.

“For us to achieve our mandate and make worthwhile changes to engineering in Botswana, we have to be totally focused and act with intent” said Kandima.

Furthermore, Stephen Williams, past president of the BIE from 1986-1988 told the engineers that  the BIE provides a fertile environment where they can meet, share ideas and grow professionally.

“The BIE is also a nesting place for graduate engineers to learn from their peers and seniors, it also cater for engineering technicians and technologists and so nobody in the technology field is left out” he said.

He further indicated that Botswana Government provides a conductive environment for growth of engineering professionals.

“It must be stated that the Botswana Government recognises the existence of BIE and it can further be stated that the government enables ERB to carry out its mandate as a regulator of engineering professionals” said Williams

He plead with engineering companies to recognize and support BIE as it is the only source of engineering personnel’s for various Industries .

Furthermore, when giving his farewell speech, Michael Pinard , a past president of the institution  said how they are viewed as engineers by the general public might be due to some lack of appreciation as to exactly what role they play in the development of the country.

“The BIE slogan is aptly coined-Engineers make it happen, in other words, what man dreams engineers create” Said Pinard.

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