Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Botswana, Batiraishe Mukonoweshuro, has lamented the low trade between Zimbabwe and Botswana despite the two Southern African nations being geographically and culturally linked.
Mukonoweshuro, who was speaking during a Zimbabwe-Botswana virtual trade mission, organised by ZimTrade in partnership with Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) last Thursday said a lot needs to be done to rectify that.
“It is regrettable that the total annual bilateral trade between Zimbabwe and Botswana dropped from about US$140.3 million in 2009 to about US$77.5 million in 2019,” bemoaned Mukonoweshuro.
“These figures are definitely too low given the historical trade links between our two countries. We really need business and government to complement each other to ensure we can enhance and improve on these figures. I call upon our companies to take advantage of this opportunity to make contacts to create synergies, form joint ventures and benefit from downward and upward intervention of their operations.”
The envoy further said: “It is my fervent hope that through these linkages our two countries will be able to reap maximum benefits from the deepening and extended relations.”
He said Zimbabwe was trying its best to attract investors into the country.
“On its part, Zimbabwe endeavours to provide a stable business environment that contributes positively to business growth and competitiveness thus presenting opportunities to all on a win-win basis hence the embassy values the opportunities presented by this trade promotion mission to enhance trade cooperation with Botswana,” said Mukonoweshuro.
“I wish to highlight the mantra which is always repeated by His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government that: “Zimbabwe is open for business.”
The government of Zimbabwe, Mukonoweshuro said, was committed to adopting and implementing consistent and transparent policies that make the country a competitive and preferred trade partner.
“To this end, Zimbabwe seeks to promote the development and application of good international investment and trade standards and practices,” he elaborated.
“As Zimbabwe seeks to open new frontiers of collaborative business partnerships, the country has adopted pro-market policies as part of the ease of doing business reforms.”
Meanwhile, speaking at the same occasion, Botswana ambassador to Zimbabwe Louis Matshwenyego Fisher also called for the strengthening of business ties between the two countries.