Information gathered from ZimTrade, the country’s export promotion body reveals that Zimbabwe’s trade with neighbouring Botswana has shown steady growth with exports moving from US$19,2 million in 2017 to US$43,3 million in 2019, NewsDay Business has learnt. Botswana is one of Zimbabwe’s traditional trading partners.
“A contributing factor to this is the increased effort in nurturing trade between the two countries and continued activities by ZimTrade to identify areas of opportunities for local companies,” ZimTrade said.
A market survey conducted by ZimTrade in Botswana in 2019 revealed the potential for local businesses to supply an array of products and services to Botswana. These export opportunities are in sectors such as processed foods and fresh produce, agricultural implements and inputs, building material and mining supplies.
For example, Zimbabwean companies have the potential to export mainly processed foods such as pork, tinned foods, cereals, milk and milk-based products, cordials, biscuits, and sweets. Botswana is also a net importer of fresh produce that local exporters have the capacity to supply.
“Produce such as vegetables, bananas, apples, oranges and pepper can perform well in the Botswana market and local exporters can earn more if they value-add their commodities,” ZimTrade said.
“Although South African companies will be a competitive challenge for local companies that are looking to increase their market share of Botswana, there is the potential to supply the retail sector in Botswana as all retailers source both directly from the manufactures as well as through distributors or agents.”
ZimTrade said local exporters can also leverage on Zimbabwe’s global reputation as a producer of quality products as some local brands are already household brands in Botswana.
“Batswana regard Zimbabwean products to be of great quality and some buyers who interacted with locally produced products at the Botswana Global Expo held last year indicated the willingness to ‘go Zimbabwe’ if local players are able to supply.
Further to this, Botswana is largely an open market economy, with the business environment highly facilitative of trade and investment for both local and foreign players,” it said.
Business in Zimbabwe and Botswana recently took part in a virtual trade mission to explore more trade and investment opportunities in the two neighbouring countries.