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Botswana forges economic ties with Chile

STAFF WRITER
Seretse
The governments of Botswana and Chile have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the promotion of investment and growth, and to facilitate the diversification of trade.

The MoU was recently signed by the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Vincent Seretse and his counterpart from Chile, Edgardo Riveros Marin during President Ian Khama’s state visit to the South American country.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Investment Trade and Industry, the objective of the MoU is to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries in an effort to promote investment and growth as well as to facilitate the diversification of trade. 

“The two countries agreed to cooperate through exchange of experiences and technology in regional economic integration and industry development and trade matters including trade policy and analysis, trade facilitation, international trade administration and trade negotiations,” read the statement.

Further to the signing of the MoU, Seretse held bilateral talks on issues of mutual interest with the director general of DIRECON, Ambassador Paulina Nazal. The talks were aimed at increasing trade and investment relations between Botswana and Chile.

The meeting agreed to immediately commence with activities aimed at implementing the MoU, starting with both parties putting together a technical working committee.

Whilst in Chile, Seretse officiated in a business/economic seminar, which was organised by the Santiago Chamber of Commerce and DIRECON. The objective of the seminar was to strengthen Botswana and Chile’s bilateral relations, facilitate increased trade between the two nations, promote foreign direct investment in both countries and create a platform for the formation of mutually beneficial business partnerships between Botswana and Chile.

The minister noted in his

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address the limited and somewhat insignificant trade flows between Botswana and Chile noting that in 2016, Chile exported a total of $80,000 worth of products consisting mainly of textiles products, machinery, and non-volatile storage devices.

He therefore, implored the Chilean business community to take advantage of the MoU, which had just been signed to increase their trade relations with Botswana.

He furthermore informed the meeting that government was keen to explore South-South Cooperation to assist Botswana companies with market entry information and strategies to effectively export into Chile.

With regards to the attraction and promotion of foreign direct investment (FDI), the minister raised concern with the limited levels of FDI between the two countries, and thus openly invited Chilean companies and businesses to consider Botswana as their next investment destination of choice as well as to use Botswana as an effective launch pad for their investment interests in Africa. He encouraged the business community to take note of the business opportunities shared during the seminar to know more about Botswana and use the information in their endeavour to use Botswana as their investment destination of choice, as they expand their business footprint into Africa.

The business seminar, which exposed the Chilean business community to immense trade and investment opportunities existing in Botswana, was attended by amongst others Members of the Chilean business community and representatives from DIRECON, Santiago Chamber of Commerce, Pro CHILE, Invest CHILE and SOFOFA- Federation of Chilean Industry.



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