Botswana-Zimbabwe trade shrinks
From Weekendpost.co.bw - Apr 8th 2014, 09:24
Contrary to the expectations of the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection (BIPPA), an agreement that was set to unlock investment and trade windows between Zimbabwe and Botswana, data released by Statistics Botswana indicates that trade between the two countries continue to decrease.
Once upon a time, Zimbabwe was Botswana’s biggest trading partner; in 2008 Botswana-Zimbabwe trade volumes were higher than those for most European countries like France. Exports to Zimbabwe comprised of salt and soda ash, copper/nickel ores, among others.
The economic downturn in Zimbabwe has been largely attributed to as the root cause for the low trade volumes not only with Botswana but with other countries. However the country is working hard to improve its export base, which has been pushed by mining lately.
According to Statistics office, Botswana’s total exports for January 2014 were valued at P4, 294.9 million, with 16.2 percent (P695.5 million) of this value destined to SADC.
Boswana’s exports to Zimbabwe amounted to P77.8million an equivalent of 1.8 % of Botswana total exports, a small fraction as compared to other trading partners in the region.
South Africa which has become Botswana key trading partner received imports of P430.2 million (10.0 percent) followed by Namibia which received 3.3 percent (P139.6 million) respectively.
Exports destined to the EU were valued at P1, 578.4 million, representing 36.7 percent of total exports during the period under review. Belgium alone received 32.9 percent (P1, 412.6 million) of total exports during January 2014.
January 2014 total imports were valued at P3, 573.9 million, showing a decrease of 24.5 percent (P1, 162.4 million) from the December 2013 value of P4, 736.3 million. In comparison to the January 2013 total imports which recorded P6, 022.8 million, the January 2014 value decreased by 40.7 percent (P2, 448.8 million).
Other strong exports for the year include copper and nickel at P4.6 billion, machinery and electrical equipment at P1.2 billion and meat and meat products at P1 billion. CSO figures also indicate that diamonds were again the biggest import item in 2013, being measured at P13.2 billion.
Other items on the annual import bill include fuel at P10.8 billion, machinery and electrical equipment at P7.6 billion, food, beverages and tobacco at P6.4 billion and chemical and rubber products at P5.8 billion. January 2014 recorded a trade surplus of P721.0 million.Weekend Post ®. All rights reserved 2011.
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