President Mokgweetsi Masisi and his Zimbabwean counterpart, Emmerson Mnangagwa, this afternoon sealed an agreement establishing a P1 billion line of credit for businesses in both countries.
Investment, Trade and Industry minister, Bogolo Kenewendo told Mmegi this evening that the new deal was an expansion of a P500 million dating back to 2009.
The 2009 deal would have seen funding at discounted rates provided by Botswana banks with guarantees provided by Botswana. Zimbabwe was required to provide political, contract and safety guarantees under a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement.
According to various reports, the Agreement was eventually never concluded, as negotiators on both sides failed to find common ground and political will waned with rising tensions as then President, Ian Khama clashed with Zimbabwe's former leader, Robert Mugabe.
Kenewendo said the expanded facility was targeting higher cross border commerce.
“It is a credit line provided by Botswana banks for Botswana companies to access Zimbabwe markets. Zimbabwean companies can also access the line but only if they partner with Botswana companies," she said.
A statement this afternoon on the Botswana Government's official Facebook page said Masisi had confirmed the increase of the credit line to P1 billion.
The president and his delegation, which includes several ministers, was due back in Gaborone this evening.