The value of BEDIA-assisted exports - which are considered representative of the country's non-core exports - reached P365 million last year, powering into new African markets and commodities. Besides its more well-known investment promotion mandate, BEDIA's export enterprise development wing had a busy 2010 with the P365 million in facilitated exports exceeding targets by 41 percent.
Leading exports assisted by BEDIA include soda ash and salt, tobacco flavours, condoms, military gear, polyethylene tanks and pipes as well as mealie meal, wheat and pasta products. Other marginal exports included electrical cabling.
BEDIA Corporate Services Director, Lameck Nthekela, revealed that within the value of exports for last year, soda ash and salt from Botash accounted for 55 percent while mealie-meal, wheat and pasta products mainly from Bolux Milling comprised about 26 percent.
Other major contributors included flavoured tobacco at nine percent, condoms at five percent and military gear at one percent.
"A company in Francistown is producing the tobacco flavours and they are exporting this to Hong Kong and Japan," Nthekela said. "The company producing condoms is exporting mainly to South Africa, as is the one producing military type gear such as caps and helmets for soldiers."
"Bolux Milling's products such as macaroni, spaghetti and even paleche have made inroads into the DRC, Namibia and
The encouraging figures for non-core exports suggest some headway being made by the non-mining manufacturing sector in line with economic diversification.
Together with the services sector led by the multi-billion Pula tourism and hospitality sector, non-mining continues to widen the country's GDP base. Numerous economists have stressed that non-mining exports were essential as the principal mining commodities such as diamonds and base metals are frequently exposed to the vagaries of global markets.
BEDIA figures are considered representative of the less prominent exports emerging from the market as the country's major statistics bodies, the Bank of Botswana and Statistics Botswana, mainly produce data on major commodities.