SHANGHAI, CHINA – Trade Minister Popane Lebesa on Monday urged Basotho businessmen to take advantage of the World Expo 2010 to attract international investors.
Speaking to the Lesotho Times on the sidelines of the expo on Monday, Lebesa said Basotho businesspeople needed to take the initiative to find investors for their businesses and start-up projects.
“Business people have to go with us whenever we are going abroad because in most cases other countries bring their business people with them,” Lebesa said.
Lesotho is one of about 200 countries that are taking part at the expo which began in May and ends on October 31.
Businesses are also displaying their products at the fair — the world’s biggest meeting for business.
At least 60 million people have visited the expo since it began in May.
Lebesa said the government was actively encouraging local businesses to set up partnerships with foreign firms.
“We encourage partnerships between local businesses and international investors. However if (foreign) investors wish to do business alone (in Lesotho) they are free to do so,” Lebesa said.
The Lesotho delegation is promoting the mining, pharmaceuticals, infrastructure development and tourism sectors.
The Lesotho pavilion is located within the African pavillion — one of the largest at the expo.
“There are about 200 000 people who visit the African pavilion every day, which means a lot of potential customers have seen our products since our pavilion is located at the entrance,” Lebesa said.
Lebesa urged local businessmen to take advantage of the expo to promote their products.
The minister said they were in the process of attracting investors to manufacture fabric to support the local textile sector.
Several investment promotion delegations from Lesotho have visited the fair since it opened its doors in May.
The delegations were from the Lesotho National Development Corporation and the Ministry of Trade.