Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Fighting back
Fighting back
SHINING EXAMPLE: Botswana diamonds drive the main exports

Business

Fighting back

International trade activity on the rebound

In some much welcome good news, data for the first quarter of 2021 shows international trade activity has continued to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This was the finding of Econsult economists, Sethunya Kegakgametse and Kitso Mokhurutshe in their most recent review.

According to the duo, there were significant increases in exports in the first three months of the year, reaching P24.1 billion in total.

This marks a whopping 38.4 percent increase on the figure recorded in the final quarter of 2020, with a resurgence in diamond demand playing a big part.

“The sharp increase in exports was driven by diamond exports, which rose by 45 percent during the quarter as the global demand for diamonds improved during the period,” explained the economists.

During the same period (January – March), imports were valued at P22.8 billion, indicating a marginal decrease of 1.4 percent between quarters.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

This resulted in a trade surplus (when exports outweigh imports) of P1.3 billion, Botswana’s first quarterly surplus since 2018.

However, normal service is likely to be resumed for Q2 (April – June), with experts predicting a substantial trade deficit for the three-month period.

Major events that happened in the second quarter include the commissioning of the Kazungula Bridge and the launch of the revised African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) National Response Strategy. Both are expected to increase trade activity.

Fighting back

COMMISSIONED: Kazungula Bridge

Seven years in the making, the impressive Kazungula Bridge, which provides passage for both road and rail, offers a one-stop border post and links regional markets as a north-south corridor.

With P9 million collected in revenue in June, the first full month of operation, economists say this indicates the bridge could become a useful source of government revenues. This will be raised mainly through toll fees and transport permits from the additional freight traffic generated by the bridge.

On the AGOA strategy, the economists believe the amended Act will increase Botswana exports to the United States markets.

“Sectors that have the potential to increase exports, create employment opportunities and contribute to export-led growth have been prioritized,” note Kegakgametse and Mokhurutshe in their review.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

These include agriculture, textiles and apparel, meat and meat products, handicrafts, jewelry, and semi-precious stones, horticulture, and agro-processing, and indigenous products.

Since the commencement of AGOA in 2000, somewhat surprisingly, Botswana has mainly exported textiles and clothing as well as furniture.

It is hoped the inclusion of other industries in the revised AGOA will boost Botswana and increase export earnings.

Looking forward, the Econsult economists say data on recent developments provide a decidedly mixed picture, with some positive developments concerning economic growth, trade performance, and banking, offset by negative developments about inflation.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like

Business

Business Botswana (BB) held the 5th Prosperity Africa Small Business Exporters Conference in Gaborone last week. The three-day conference, which attracted over 70 international...

Business

Friday saw the start of a powerful new partnership as Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) and Francistown College of  Technical and Vocational Education (FCTVE) joined...

Business

As part of their efforts to promote the country as a tourism hub, Cresta Marakanelo Limited (CML) sang Botswana’s praises at the Africa Travel...

Business

Health Generation adds zest to the HATAB Conference Botswana’s best juicers, Health Generation had plenty of admirers at the just ended Hospitality and Tourism...

Business

Coal mine set sights on Europe Morupule Coal Mine (MCM) are in hot pursuit of an exciting new partnership, with the coal producers in...

Business

There is a famous Chinese proverb that states life begins the day you start a garden. This certainly rings true for 41-year-old Unaswi Tafila,...

Business

Fallout from Ukraine invasion worries Minerals Minister Calling for divine intervention, Minister of Minerals and Energy, Lefoko Moagi has warned that the on-going Russia/Ukraine...

Business

Distribution company open Gabs office East Africa’s leading ICT distribution company, Red Dot has honed in on Botswana, officially opening an office in Gaborone’s...

Advertisement