Botswana and Zimbabwe in action to strengthen economic ties

President Emmerson Mnangagwa speaks to his Botswana counterpart Mokgweetsi Masisi at Munhumutapa Offices in Harare.-(Picture by Tawanda Mudimu)

Africa—The neighboring countries of Zimbabwe and Botswana have committed to strengthening economic cooperation as they aim to boost their trade and industry growth potential.

The Third Zimbabwe-Botswana Bi-National Commission’s Ministerial Conference in Victoria Falls on Thursday saw the two countries agree on the need to increase economic growth possibilities.

Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister and Botswana’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister have vowed to strengthen economic cooperation as the two countries seek to improve their trade and industry growth prospects.

The Third Zimbabwe-Botswana Bi-National Commission’s Ministerial Conference in Victoria Falls on Thursday saw the two countries agree on the need to increase economic growth possibilities.

Ambassador Frederick Shava, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade emphasized the importance of economic cooperation in developing relations between the two countries.

“In our bilateral relations, economic cooperation should be a strong pillar.” “I’ve noticed that bilateral trade is on the decline in 2020, which is unacceptable given our proximity,” Ambassador Shava stated.

“Our level of economic collaboration is also concerning. We must further up our efforts in this area by finalizing agreements on the enabling legal instruments and agenda items under discussion at the BNC this session.”

Ambassador Shava also discussed the outstanding agreements from the BNC’s second session.

“It took a long time for us to come to an agreement on the necessity to modernize the Plumtree-Ramokgwebana Border Post to a One-Stop Border Post,” I said. With the ones between Zimbabwe and Zambia at Chirundu and Botswana and Zambia at Kazungula, we already reap the benefits of such a facility. “A One-Stop Border Post facilitates trade by reducing freight and passenger transit times and transportation expenses,” he said.

“There should be no further delays in concluding instruments such as the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement, the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperative Development and the Development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and the Memorandum of Understanding on Economic, Trade, and Investment Promotion, among others.” When completed, these instruments have the potential to boost our countries’ economic and commercial relations.”

Zimbabwe’s overall exports to Botswana in 2018 were valued 19.2 million US dollars, according to Zimtrade. The necessity of economic cooperation in enhancing bilateral relations was emphasized.