Business Botswana president Gobusamang Keebine says both Botswana and South Africa’s governments need to reduce red-tape and bureaucratic processes to allow for greater trade and business collaboration between the two countries.
Keebine was addressing government and business delegates at the Botswana-SA business Forum currently underway at the Gaborone International Convention Centre, in Botswana.
The business forum is set to provide an opportunity for the two countries to propose business linkages and support the implementation of the Southern African Customs Union regional value chains and the African Continental Free Trade Area.
“We continue to buy a lot of electricity from South Africa than we sell it to them. What can we do collectively, Botswana business people, Botswana entrepreneurs to work together to ensure that there’s adequate production of electricity to cover both two countries. So that Botswana can save on the $400 million which is about five billion pula and South Africa can get out of the load shedding that it’s been going through, it’s only when we collaborate and I still insist that the collaboration in most cases fails to be there because of government policies.”
This year celebrates 28 years of diplomatic and bilateral collaboration between the two neighboring countries in a variety of areas including energy, agriculture, tourism, youth and sport, infrastructure development, culture, and mining, among others.
South Africa’s exports to Botswana were R64.4 billion in 2021 and grew by 2.5% over the last five years.
Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor has encouraged delegates from both countries to use the business forum as an opportunity to network and build partnerships.
“As part of our celebration and recalibration of our trade relationship, we begin with this two-day business forum which intends to strengthen business-to-business linkages with the intention of facilitating trade and investment, as well as possible joint venture partnerships, so the forum will see South African business sector engage with Botswana counterparts in roundtable sessions and business to business meetings. We look forward to the trade expo that will be held over the next two days.”