Local businesses were spurred into excitement last week as Zimbabwean investors left Botswana, after being assured by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dorcus Makgato-Malesu, that government was now ready to release the credit line aimed at reviving the economy of the onetime bread basket of Southern Africa, Zimbabwe subject to certain conditions being met.
┬áThis followed a meeting held on Thursday 18 November 2010 between a 20-person delegation of Confederation of Zimbabwe Industry (CZI) member investors and representatives of private sector players from the Botswana Confederation of Commerce and Industry Manpower (BOCCIM) which took place at the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC).
┬á“…guidelines for the credit line are now ready to be released at the appropriate time, subject to the condition that certain measures are put in place to enable ease of trade and disbursement of funds,” said Makgato -Malesu.
She however pointed out that things were almost at a point where the two countries were about to ratify the final drafts, after which the draft would then go to both Parliaments of both countries for ratification.
Other matters emanating from discussions about the credit line facility related to border logistics, where challenges experienced in such areas as duties, waiting times at the border, and current insurance requirements, could impact negatively on trade.
To avoid cumbersome paperwork and moving from one to office, sometimes at unnecessary expense, it was agreed that CZI and BOCCIM should lobby for single standard insurance for the region.
Komissa Burzlaff, BOCCIM’s Corporate Communications and Public Relations Manager, stated that the delegation comprised business sectors from the construction, property development, food and agro processing, timber and furniture, as well as leather tannery and footwear.
There were also textile investors as well as those dealing in, finance and financial services, including general manufacturing industries.
┬áSo in the same vein, similar discussions which took place at the GICC joint session last week were informed by that spirit.
┬áZimbabwe delegation arrived on the 17th November 2010, led by ┬á┬áCZI President, Joseph Kanyekanye.
┬áMost of the members of the delegation showed interests in seeking ┬ácloser collaboration with their Botswana counterparts in various forms, such as joint ventures, partnerships, networking, which the Zimbabwean business community resident here.
┬áSome of the important items that featured at the GICC discussions included issues and guidelines on Businesses could participate, once the line of credit is ready and to prepare for the utilization of the facility.
The delegation arrived to a warm welcoming at the PWC Annual Awards for the Best Published Corporate Reports & Accounts, under the auspices of BOCCIM.
┬áMaria-Machailo Ellis, Executive Director of BOCCIM, expressed delight at their interaction with Zimbabwean counterparts, adding it was an opportunity that cannot be missed.
┬á“As part of their visit here, some of the investors took their chance to benchmark from various businesses locally,” said Machailo-Ellis.
An example is one property developer from Zimbabwe who operated under the auspices of, the Sunway’s Property Development, who visited Phakalane Golf Estate to benchmark.
┬áThe Developer indicated that they were looking to adopt the concept and prototype for a similar project they were undertaking in Zimbabwe.