“We deeply value our relations with India”
His Excellency Mr Bothata Tsikoane High Commissioner of the Kingdom of Lesotho
Introduction: Asked about Lesotho’s bilateral and economic relations with India, tourism opportunities, capacity building and training programmes in Defence and Security and contribution of Indian community in Lesotho, His Excellency Mr Bothata Tsikoane, High Commissioner of the Kingdom of Lesotho opened up to India Empire’s Assistant Editor Misha Singh in an interview
Please let us know about Lesotho’s bilateral trade and economic relations with India…
I must say that this is one area that has not been explored enough by both countries. There is nothing significant happening; however we have been working very hard to create awareness between the two countries particularly in the private sector. We wish to bring to the attention of the business community in India that there are huge amount of opportunities laying in the Kingdom of Lesotho to invest and make it a hub for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the whole of Africa. We wish to tell the business community in Lesotho to know that India has just woke-up from its slumber and is rising in the International stage. It is important for Lesotho that it should also look forward to import technology from India and both countries should work towards enhancing bilateral trade. India has been exporting a lot of pharmaceuticals to Lesotho and Lesotho used to export raw wool and mohair which has stopped. We are in the process of reviving this because Lesotho still ranks high in the production of wool and mohair. We have also had high powered delegation visit of private sector and Government officials in 2014 led by then Prime Minister of Lesotho. Our Prime Minister was also part of the recent India-Africa Summit 2015 accompanied by a business delegation. We believe that through these efforts we will be able to see developments on the ground.
What is the status of the MoU signed between the National Small Industries Corporation in India and the Basotho Enterprises Development Corporation in Lesotho?
That MoU has been signed twice. It did not come in effect when it was signed for the first time. It was again signed last year in Pretoria, however nothing monumental has happened on the ground so far but our intention is to bring the business community to India and learn about the technology for small and medium enterprises. We hope that something in this direction happens at the beginning of the upcoming financial year.