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Botswana: Stiff Trade Competition Lamented

Published date:
Friday, 13 May 2005

President Festus Mogae and visiting Lesotho Prime Minister, Pakalitha Mosisili have lamented the difficulty of African goods accessing American and European markets because of stiff competition from other continents like Asia.

They were addressing a joint press conference at the end of a three-day state visit by Mosisili, who returned home yesterday afternoon.

The two said that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has terminated the quota system and treats all countries as equal contrary to the situation on the ground. They said they have sought to liase and trade with Asia because the West has taken advantage of developing countries for a long time.

Mogae said the Asians have cheap labour, produce cheap goods and have large populations that play a major role in trade. The Asian goods also easily enter the American and European market.

The abolition of the quota agreement has denied Lesotho benefits from the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), Mosisili said.

The two leaders emphasised the need for the Southern Africa Development Committee (SADC) region to trade with the Asian countries. They said the Asians and Africans are friends and were colonised by the West.

Lesotho and Botswana have made bilateral agreements to work together on wildlife management and HIV/AIDS. Mosisili thanked Batswana and South Africans for their intervention in the 1998 political crisis to restore peace and stability in his country. "The forces did not only restore peace and stability, they also helped us in the re-orientation of armed forces viz Lesotho Defence Force and Lesotho Mounted Police Force."

The stability also led to the recent local government elections, held for the first time in Lesotho. He said that the SADC Defence Pact is a good idea as it allows member states to join or to stay out. He said Botswana's decision to stay out is legitimate.

“AGOA Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on

Click here to view a sector profile of Botswana’s bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.

Other regularly updated trade statistics on include: (click each link to view)

  • AGOA-Beneficiary Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Aggregates

  • AGOA Trade by Industry Sector

  • Apparel Trade under AGOA’s Wearing Apparel Provisions

  • Latest Apparel Quotas under AGOA

  • Bilateral Trade Data for all AGOA-eligible countries individually.

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