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Botswana Parliament adopts national trade policy

Published date:
Wednesday, 07 April 2010

Parliament has adopted the 2009 National Trade Policy for Botswana.

The policy intends to facilitate access to markets for Botswanas export of goods and services and enable consumers access to a wider choice of international goods and services on the best possible terms.

Presenting the motion, Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Dorcus Makgato-Malesu said Botswana had never had a national trade policy document to guide her trade relations with other countries.

She stated that trade policy positions had been based on various pieces of legislation, official documents, trade negotiation positions and statements by national leaders.

Therefore, the proposed policy would serve as a framework for Botswanas trade agenda.

According to Ms Makgato-Malesu, the policy highlighted government stance on trade matters through specific policy statements, guidelines and pronouncements on trade and trade related issues including export development, market access, import substitution, trade facilitation, and rules of origin and customs procedures.

Ms Makgato-Malesu said the underlying principles for the proposed policy included, among others, the need to achieve export diversification, economic diversification, free market economy, global competitiveness, private sector development, citizen economic empowerment and poverty reduction.

She said the policy was shaped by the domestic legislation and policies, as well as Botswanas international trade arrangements.

On the domestic front, the policy was influenced by national vision, the national development plan, and the industrial development and competition policies.

Ms Makgato-Malesu added that the policy was further shaped by other initiatives such as the development of the national export strategy for Botswana, the investment strategy for Botswana and the private sector development strategy.

These policies and strategies define the trade policy environment for investors in Botswana as well as the parameters for negotiating trade agreements with existing and prospective trading partners, she said.

She stated that to be effective the policy would be supported and complemented by several pieces of legislation such as the trade and competition acts, the control of goods, Prices and Other Charges Act, industrial property and copy rights and neighbouring acts.

Ms Makgato-Malesu said on the international arena, Botswana had entered into several trade agreements and arrangements at the multilateral, regional and bilateral levels which included the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Southern African Development Community (SADC), Southern African Customs Union (SACU), African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), SADC-EC Interim Economic Partnership agreement (SADC-EC IEPA) and bilateral trade agreements with Malawi and Zimbabwe.

She said the policy covered cross cutting issues which are of fundamental importance to trade such as environment, infrastructural development, gender and youth, health and information and communication technology.

Ms Makgato-Malesu said the core elements in the policy were the effective negotiation of trade agreements for the creation of market access opportunities for Botswanas goods and services, facilitating trade development to address supply-side constraints and enhancing trade in services.

She added that other core elements in the policy were tariff based measures to support industrial development, achieve balance of payments, and protect domestic producers from unfair trade practices as well as non tariff measures that were ordinarily not meant to restrict trade.

“ 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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