The revised African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) strategy that is expected to provide a comprehensive plan for Botswana to spur its exports to the US has been launched.
The strategy, which was approved in March, will assist local businesses take advantage of the non-reciprocal trade arrangement.
Exports through the AGOA programme will provide local entrepreneurs with a chance to revive their firms that suffered heavily from the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also create the much-needed employment to revitalise the ailing economy.
Trade and Industry minister, Mmusi Kgafela said consultations have taken place with respective sectors to ensure that specific issues are understood and impediments are addressed to increase export base.
“The consultations will assist in addressing implementation challenges across for all stakeholders to create high-value export to the USA government is committed to developing an export led economy with contribute to the transformation of this economy,” he said.
Speaking at the launch, USA Ambassador to Botswana, Craig Cloud said there are some successful entrepreneurs who have exported to the US. He encouraged them to take full advantage of the revised AGOA strategy.
AGOA is a non-reciprocal unilateral trade agreement that the US established decades ago to promote bilateral trade and investment between the world’s largest economy and sub-Saharan African countries.
The AGOA National Response Strategy was developed through the assistance of the USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub.
The strategy would also help local businesses grow by taking advantage of AGOA provision of duty-free exports to the US with the Hub’s experts working directly with the private sector to improve productivity and facilitate robust regional trade and global market access.
In 2015, AGOA was extended by 10 years to September 2025, with the aim of ramping up investment and trade amongst AGOA beneficiary countries.
The extension emphasised the need to boost trade and investment in sub-Saharan Africa and focuses on regional integration, economic development and diversifying sources of growth, eliminating barriers to trade and investment.
The revised strategy was launched last week by the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry in partnership with Embassy of United Stated of America (USA) through its Trade Hub.