Botswana-UAE trade strengthens as exports soar


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is asserting itself as a dominant destination for Botswana’s exports as more and more of local goods reach Arab shores. According to Statistics Botswana International trade merchandise, the UAE is the destination of over 32% of goods leaving Botswana to foreign markets.

This makes the Middle East country the highest consumer of Botswana exports. Botswana, which is a mineral dependent economy, has diamonds and copper as her main exports, the two minerals which have been increasingly in strong demand in the Asian markets particularly in the UAE despite a weak demand for them in other international markets. Statistics Botswana reports that 63% of Botswana exports landed in the Asian markets with the largest share being absorbed by the UAE. “Asia was the largest export market for Botswana, having received 63.7% (P4, 225.7 million) of total exports.

These exports were mainly destined to the UAE and India at 32.7% (P2, 171.3 million) and 14.2% (P943.4 million) of total exports, respectively. Diamonds and copper were the major commodity groups exported to Asia, at 91.9% (P3, 881.6 million) and 8.1% P342.9 million,” the report revealed. Botswana has been increasingly eyeing the UAE as a plausible market for other commodities especially in the beef industry, which has been dying a slow death since independence due to a myriad of problems in the agricultural sector. President Mokgweetsi Masisi, who has asserted himself as the chief diplomatic investment officer during a international trip to the UAE, said Botswana is ready to open up more exports in other industries to the UAE market as it marked itself as a strategic trade partner for Botswana. "Botswana has an established base for multilateral investments into several industries, especially, mining, tourism and food, and we want to open up more opportunities for trade with the UAE,” he said at the time.

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