The Chinese ambassador designate, Ding Xiaowen, urged Botswana to look-up to his country in bilateral trade in a bid for the country to maximize its opportunities in the global economy.
Speaking at Barclays Bank of Botswana?s Business Club breakfast on Friday, Ding said China?s big market has much to offer to the emerging businesses in Botswana. The function also marked Barclays? initiative of plugging some of the budding entrepreneurs into the international economy by sending them off to China on a six-day trip to scour international partnerships.
?Chinese people eat everything that flies except planes. And they eat everything that has legs except tables,? he said, adding that Botswana might lack the capacity to meet the demand.
He said Batswana should market their own beef to China and other products including mophane worm.
?If the Chinese people can realize the high quality of Botswana beef the problem that is going to arise is that there is not enough supply. Talking about mophane words they will eat it all until there are not worms in Botswana,? he added.
China is the world?s most populous country with a population of 1.3 billion people and it is the fastest growing economy in the world. Its imports over the last year reached a record level of US $ 1.76 trillion.
A team of Barclays Business Club officials leaves for Canton Fair?the second largest in the world ? today (Sunday) on a six-day tour. The team is expected to scour strategic international business partnership with a view of bolstering the local economy.
Canton Fair which is held within an exhibition space of 600,000 m2 is the biggest exhibition in China with a turnover of US $ 34 billion. The exhibition is being attended by 212 countries and regions and covers 150,000 products.
Barclays? Managing Director, Thuli Johnson, said the aim is to develop Botswana?s small medium businesses and ensure that they graduate into big business.
?We are doing this because Botswana and China are the fastest growing economies. Over and above that, you can always get the most innovative and enterprising people from China.
?The trip to China is an opportunity to find cross-border partnership from China,? Johnson said.
Further, he stated that his bank is looking at expanding small and medium businesses to include countries such as India and Dubai. It will also establish a department which is dedicated to facilitating partnerships between China and Botswana.
The move comes at a time when the Chinese government has earmarked US $ 5 billion for business partnership with companies in Africa. China is renowned for being one of the oldest countries in trading with other countries. Its history in international trade dates back to 139 BC.