Botswana’s goods are yet to penetrate and have an impact on the Zimbabwe market, a finding released by Busisa Moyo, President of Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) has revealed. The study was released during a recent meeting between Business Botswana (BB) and CZI in Gaborone meant to foster a mutually beneficial trade relationship between Botswana and Zimbabwe.
Moyo said Zimbabwe spends $7 billion (P73 billion) annually on imports, 40 percent of which comes from South Africa. He added that one of the reasons for their visit was to change the complexion of the import set up.
In demonstrating the import set up, Moyo noted that Botswana does not have a clearly recognizable share in Zimbabwe’s imports. He noted that Zimbabwe’s current landscape shows the need to look for new markets as well as expand existing ones.
Moyo lauded Zimbabwe as an attractive market to tap into saying it is not prone to currency fluctuations, unlike the South African market, as it benefits from using the American Dollar (US$) which is less vulnerable to currency risk.
“Zimbabwe adopted the USD in 2009, a decision that rendered the Zimbabwean legal tender useless. The dollarization was in response to the hyperinflationary state that plagued the country’s economy for about a decade,” he said.
It has emerged that collaboration opportunities between Botswana and Zimbabwe companies lie in joint ventures, acquisitions and customer-supplier relationships to mention but a few. Moyo elucidated that a partnership with Zimbabwe will enable Botswana to access northern markets by using Zimbabwe as a gateway, reduce its industrial dependence on South Africa and also trim down its high import bill. He also added that Zimbabwe will provide Botswana with a bigger market as well as economies of scale; and also facilitate economic integration.
On the part of Botswana, Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) Executive Director for Strategy and Competitiveness, Keletsositse Olebile said Botswana uses its import numbers to demonstrate to investors its potential as a market. He added that manufacturing is incentivized through a lower tax of 15 percent from the normal corporate tax of 22 percent.
“Botswana spends P68 billion on imports every year, of which Zimbabwe accounts for about P324 million,” said Olebile.