The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, says President Barack Obama’s administration looks forward to expanding partnership with Botswana to “new areas in the future”.
Clinton said this as she wished Botswana continued success on her 44 years of independence from Britain.
The US is expected to cease to be the largest consumer of Botswana’s gem diamonds. Diamond miner De Beers says it anticipates shifting patterns in consumer demands from the US with the emergence of China and India as major consumers.
De Beers expects that China’s diamond consumption will increase to about 16 percent and in the same breath India’s consumption is expected to increase by between 13 and 15 percent in the next five years.
Botswana and China have enjoyed increased trade volumes amounting to US$200 million (over one billion Pula).
“The United States and Botswana have a vibrant partnership rooted in our common values and interests, and our shared history. On this occasion, we celebrate the enduring friendship between our two countries,” says Clinton.
She praised Botswana for being a model of stability in Southern Africa saying the country continues to provide leadership on vital regional issues.
“Our strong and growing partnership to build economic prosperity, promote democratic governance, combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and conserve the environment is evidence of what we can achieve with close cooperation and mutual respect. The United States values our relationship with Botswana and your commitment to addressing regional and global challenges through international collaboration,” read the congratulatory message.