TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Botswana: Businesses advised to take advantage of AGOA

Monday, 23 August 2010

Source: Mmegi Online (Botswana)

Business owners in the SPEDU Region have been advised to take advantage of the 6 500 African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) product lines and items that are similar to those on the USA market.

Speaking at the first-ever buyer/seller forum held here this week, the Director of the Department of Industrial Affairs, Violet Mosele, said the USA has given all African countries an opportunity to sell their products but they are failing to meet the quotas.

Mosele said two Asian countries are producing more quantity than all African countries put together and selling to America. She advised businesses in the region to produce items that use raw materials from within the country on order, to reduce costs of production.

"In the garment world, we import fabric, we pay for shipment of the fabric to come here and for the shipment of the garment when exporting," she said.

"We cannot, at this rate, hope to produce garments that will be cheaper than those from where we source our inputs, hence emphasis on the use of local materials."

Mosele said there is a directive on the use of locally manufactured goods and services and it was introduced to address concerns by local industries that the government does not buy locally produced goods and services. The aim of the directive is to promote the utilisation of government procurement power whose import bill stands at P15 billion. Mosele said the move would empower locally based manufacturers and service providers as well as empower citizen owned businesses.

She said the government has also introduced a temporary programme to support the textile and clothing industry rise from economic recession. The programme will end in 2011. "I wish to emphasize that even though the government is committed to supporting local industries, issues of quality and price will not be overlooked," she said. "Government will only procure goods and services that meet tender specifications in terms of quality and price."

SPEDU coordinator, Kago Moshashane, said the forum marks progress towards transition of the region into a diversified investor-friendly environment. The forum is also a fundamental step that will pave way for smooth business operation and growth, eliminating insecurities, confusion and misconceptions about trade that hinder the development of local businesses, resulting in poor economic development. He stated that lack of transparency could negatively impact on the development and sustainability of business and thus create an environment in which corruption is rife.

"It has been evident that the buyer and the seller have to reach common ground in order for local businesses in the region to prosper," Moshashane said. "Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises have shown themselves to be victims of unprofessional management of procurement procedures and lack of access to adequate information and other resources that support growth of businesses in the region."

Moshashane noted that SPEDU has undertaken consultations in the region which have reflected buyer/seller differences that can disturb the successful implementation of its diversification programme.



“ Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on AGOA.info


Click here to view a sector profile of Botswana's bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.


Other regularly updated trade statistics on AGOA.info include: (click each link to view)

  • AGOA-Beneficiary Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Aggregates

  • AGOA Trade by Industry Sector

  • Apparel Trade under AGOA’s Wearing Apparel Provisions

  • Latest Apparel Quotas under AGOA

  • Bilateral Trade Data for all AGOA-eligible countries individually.