Botswana export basket is growing by the day, thanks in particular to increased and more vigorous marketing by local companies, seeking markets out of Botswana. It is common knowledge that Botswana is a small market, but there is an opportunity for Botswana products in the southern Africa region, an opportunity that some companies have taken advantage off.
The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) amongst other institutions, assists local companies to explore and seek external markets for their products.
This week, BITC led local companies to participate at the Southern African International Trade Exhibition (SAITEX) in Johannesburg, South Africa in the continued endeavour to promote and seek markets for Botswana products.
Participating companies included Contemporary Linen (hospitality linen), Chloride Exide (automotive batteries), Dune Food Products, (canned tripe), Botswana Meat Commission, Hydrosoma (waterless & odourless urinary systems), Key Wealth and Soul Beat Interiors (furniture).
BITC scopes markets and aids companies to participate in international Trade Fairs/Exhibitions regionally and far off. This year, BITC has invited and accompanied local companies on export missions in Namibia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
This is to assist the companies showcase their products and services as well as to create contacts for future use. In such missions, companies also meet with potential partners, buyers and distributors for their products.
BITC, under the export promotion incentives, sponsors local companies to utilise the dispensation to introduce their products, to seek new markets and increase market share
Over the years, Botswana companies have made contacts internationally and some companies have sealed deals through participation in international fairs.
Most notably and quite recently Ditec Mobile is just about to penetrate the Mozambique, and potentially the Mauritius market, following export missions to those countries.
Other local companies amongst them have also benefitted from such export promotional missions.
The benefits of an increased export basket are immense. The exposure that the country and the country’s brands gets is immeasurable.
Local products do Brand Botswana internationally. The more exports the country has, the more money into the economy. This results in increased production, eventually leading to the much sought-after diversification and creation of jobs.
BITC periodically invites Botswana companies to show interest in the export missions, and companies are encouraged to show interest when the opportunities arise, as these opportunities are open for Botswana companies as long as they are export-ready and have products that have a potential to break into foreign markets.
*Thuso Palai is Manager - Brand Management International at BITC