TRADE between Zimbabwe and Botswana has remained insignificant, as the former contributed only $21,5 million to the latter’s $6,1 billion import bill in 2016, latest information reveals.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Information gathered from ZimTrade, the country’s export promotion body, shows that trade between the two countries remained low despite the fact that they are neighbours.
“Botswana’s import bill in 2016 stood at $6,1 billion, with Zimbabwe contributing only $21,5 million (0,35%),” ZimTrade said.
Trade Map revealed that Zimbabwe’s main exports to Botswana comprised sugar, wood and timber products, animal feeds, cigarettes and steel products such as doors and window frames.
To correct the trade imbalance between two countries, ZimTrade conducted a market survey in Botswana last month, where a wide range of opportunities for Zimbabwean companies were identified.
It said the survey focused on the fast-moving consumer goods sector (including processed foods, horticulture, and household products), agricultural inputs and implements, building and construction materials as well as mining supplies.
“In addition, the survey identified other market-related intelligence, which will highlight opportunities for Zimbabwean products and services to penetrate the Botswana market,” it said.
The survey was conducted at a time when bilateral relations between the two countries were set to improve, after the Botswana-Zimbabwe Business Forum held in Gaborone last month.
The Forum was attended by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, senior government officials and business people from Botswana and Zimbabwe.
During the event, ZimTrade signed a memorandum of understanding with Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC).
The partnership between ZimTrade and BITC will see the two trade bodies sharing market intelligence, supporting each other’s capacity development programmes as well as co-organising trade development and promotional activities.