The European Union delegation to Botswana and SADC has dismissed misguided assertions coming from Botswana that China and USA are the best trading partners.
At a meet and greet with journalists, the EU delegation to Botswana Trade Counsellor, John Taylor, said he was astounded by the lack of ignorance expressed by the government and the SADC bloc. “What we hear when we come down is about wonderful opportunities with China and USA. And I think that is a bit mispalced,” said Taylor.
He said the European Union contributes a quarter of the world’s GDP and is the world’s lucrative market that Botswana should utilise. He expressed confidence that the EU is the best trading partner for Botswana and other SADC countries. Taylor further stated that in terms of market and custom unions the EU is a well established market that Botswana and the SADC bloc should take advantage of.
Taylor also said Botswana should diversify from the diamond industry and develop other industries. “After the diamonds have all been dugout of the ground the country will have to have developed other industries. This will help to develop the country’s wealth and the EU is Botswana best trading partner. This is the area that Botswana will be able to do business, “added Taylor.
Taylor stated that although the EU might not be the oldest custom union, they are certainly integrated. He pointed out that there are no custom borders between the EU member states. The Trade Counsellor also said what makes Europe interesting for exporters and manufactures around the world is that they are integrated with neighbouring EU countries.
Taylor further stated that the EU is the biggest partner with Africa.
“The EU is Africa’s biggest partner in many ways. It is clear that most African countries speak English which is the language that is being spoken in Europe. And that is the language of trade. Even cultural things like that are benefits to manufactures and exporters,” he added.