FRANCISTOWN: The ambassador of China to Botswana, Zhao Yanbo has urged Botswana to use its comparative advantage to develop its economy.
Giving a keynote speech at the Business Botswana Northern Trade Fair on Friday, Zhao said Botswana should cultivate national core competitiveness based on the characteristics of and advantages of its own conditions and achieve sustainable economic development in competition and cooperation.
He said that the second opportunity that Botswana should make use of is of bilateral cooperation. “Take advantage of cooperative mechanisms with regional and international partners to expand trade areas and enrich partnerships. In particular, Botswana needs to seize the new opportunities brought fourth by the development of China-Botswana relations, continually expand cooperation in areas such as infrastructure and health care and further deepen practical cooperation within the framework of the eight major initiative of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Beijing Summit,” Zhao said.
The first advantage, Zhao noted, is to make the most out of the stable political environment of Botswana. The second advantage, Zhao said, are natural resources and industries. “Botswana is rich in coal and there are other mined resources like copper. When we speak of economic diversification, I believe we first have to talk about diversifying mining development. At the same time farming and tourism also
Zhao added: “In future, we should strengthen the partnership between our countries to unleash the potential of these industries so that they can make greater contributions to economic development”.
Coming to the fourth areas, Zhao said: “Firstly find the right trade partnership areas for both sides and strengthen the policy study and coordination, draw a road map for partnership, create a long term mechanism and make efforts in implementation”.
Zhao said secondly, accurately match the two countries’ districts and cities for trade cooperation.
“The sizes of Botswana and China’s economy are different and the development of regional economy is also different. Existing or newly built friendly cities of our two countries can therefore refine their cooperation by focusing on key areas, key projects and key enterprises to support bilateral trade relations,” Zhao said.Thirdly Zhao continued: “Focus on innovation and the use of technology, take advantage of the internet and new ways of doing business to bring the current partnerships to a higher level”.