Botswana galvanizes efforts to derive UK/EU opportunities

Mpho Tebele

Gaborone – As part of its effort to have access to United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union markets, Botswana’s investment arm, the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has launched a crusade to exploit the overseas market.

The Executive Director for BITC’s International Business in the EU, Moemedi Mokgosi revealed that incumbent and potential exporters who are interested in exporting to the United Kingdom and European Union market have been invited to submit their updated company profiles.

 Mokgosi explained that the information in the documents should reflect products, scale of operation, location of operation countries of interest within the EU and key contact details for profiling and matchmaking.

BITC through its export department is mandated to facilitate exports of locally manufactured goods and services into regional and international markets.

Mokgosi said although growth is projected to be slow, the EU remains the largest economy in the world with a GDP per head for 25,000 Euro for its 500 million consumers. He explained that the average applied tariff for goods imported into the EU is very low.

“More than 70 percent of imports enter EU at zero or reduced tariffs. The BITC UK office will create a database of Botswana exporters interested in in this huge market and from time to time gather in market intelligence regarding market entry strategies that could be employed and share with companies that are on our data base,” he said.

Mokgosi said BITC’s UK Office would identify suitable trade fairs or sector specific fairs for the participating companies with a value add of facilitating matchmaking their products to potential buyers in the EU market.

BITC UK office will also share a calendar of events for planned shows which allow Botswana companies to make informed decisions regarding your participation.

Where there is an identified gap, he said, local companies could enroll for on export development prorgramme.

Moemedi said they are also targeting trading fairs that are scheduled from 17 October 2017 to 13 April 2018 where local companies are expected to participate.  Sectors that are expected to participate in the trade fairs in question involve automotive components, manufacturing (food processing) and general manufacturing.

The latest development comes at a time when Botswana recently launched its national strategy for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Speaking at the launch, Minister of Trade and Industry Vincent Seretse said following re-authorisation of AGOA in 2015, Botswana developed a National Response Strategy with assistance from USAID Southern African Trade and Investment Hub.

“The Strategy has identified potential sectors which are to export to the US market under the Act.

“These include the horticulture and Agro processing, handcrafts, jewellery and semi-precious stones, leather, meat and meat products and textile/apparel industry,” he said.

US Ambassador to Botswana, Early Miller said as part of the AGOA’s 10-year extensions, the US government recommended that each country in Africa provide an AGOA National Response Strategy in order to coordinate the activities of government and the private sector to make the most of                                                  AGOA.

He said their embassy in Gaborone is working hard to spur economic growth, trade and investment in Botswana.

“Through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), we are proud to work in close coordination with the Government of Botswana and especially the Ministry of Trade and Industry to accomplish this important goal,” he said.

September 2017
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