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Maseru

PM acknowledges Lesotho’s investment climate challenges

Business

Lehlohonolo Motsoari

Recent assessments have revealed Lesotho’s investment climate to be less than favourable, Prime Minister Ntsokoane Samuel Matekane acknowledged this week.

Addressing attendees at the launch of the revamped Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) forum in Maseru on Wednesday, Matekane emphasised the need for improvement in the country’s international rankings.

“For instance, we rank low on the Transparency International Corruption Index, the Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal, and the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom Index rankings,” he said.

He underscored the significance of good rankings in attracting foreign investment.

“International credit rating agencies consistently highlight our socio-political instability as a major obstacle to attracting foreign investment. We have to go up the ranks.”

Explaining the purpose of the revamped framework, Matekane highlighted its role in addressing challenges hindering economic growth and job creation, building upon previous initiatives undertaken over the last fifteen years.

“What we seek to do is to make the process of government to business interaction more structured, consistent, and sustainable,” Matekane elaborated, highlighting the importance of consistent engagement to address operational issues promptly and contribute to reform processes.

He also called upon participants to actively engage in discussions, saying: “So, Ladies and Gentlemen, this forum is our chance to roll up our sleeves and dive into the finer details of the poor investment climate, declining investments, entrepreneurship ecosystem, and government inefficiencies.”

Matekane assured regular interaction, committing to engaging in plenary sessions at least twice a year and addressing specific sector issues as they arise.

Furthermore, Matekane stressed the urgent need to revitalise the economy post-COVID-19, acknowledging the pandemic’s profound impact on employment and investment.

“Our domestic market is too small for sustainable growth. We must endeavor to build upon our great textile track-record to diversify to new products and new markets. This is our ultimate goal with this new Forum. To achieve this aim, we must overcome our poor investment climate,” he stated.

The event brought together key figures from both the public and private sectors, aiming to explore avenues for unlocking economic potential and driving sustainable growth.

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