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Botswana wants strong trade ties with Bangladesh

Published : 10 Feb 2023 11:37 PM

Botswana has shown interest to establish cooperation with Bangladesh in textiles, pharmaceuticals and agro food industries and contract farming sectors.

This came to the fore when State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. ShahriarAlam met with the Minister of Trade and Industries of Botswana Mr. Mmusi Kgafela at his office in Gaborone on Thursday.

The Minister of Trade and Industry of Botswana, during the meeting, informed about the various industrial developments in Botswana, the foreign ministry said.

The State Minister is on a two-day bilateral visit to Botswana. The Bangladesh delegation comprises the High Commissioner of Bangladesh to South Africa and officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He also met with the Business Botswana chamber which is the federation of all chambers and business bodies of Botswana at their office in Gaborone on Thursday.

While welcoming the State Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Chief Executive Officer of Business Botswana said that cooperation may be forged in different areas of trade and investment between Bangladesh and Botswana.

The trade minister underlined the need of contacts between the private sectors and trade bodies of the two countries and invited the Bangladeshi investors to invest in different sectors in Botswana. 

He urged that business personalities and chambers may be engaged more to enhance trade relations. 

He particularly mentioned the opportunities of contract farming by Bangladeshi investors in Botswana.

State Minister ShahriarAlam referred to the traditional relations between Bangladesh and Botswana and narrated the remarkable achievements of Bangladesh in socio-economic sectors. 

He also informed the Botswanan side about the Vision 2041 of Bangladesh for translating into a developed and prosperous country. 

He maintained that the visit offered the opportunity to identify potential areas of cooperation in trade and Investment. Citing agriculture to be a vital sector of Bangladesh's economy, he proposed that Bangladeshi entrepreneurs can establish contract farming in the unutilized land in Botswana.

The Botswanan specialized economic zones authority members made a video presentation on opportunities of investment in the various economic zones of Botswana. 

The Botswanan side invited Bangladeshi investors to invest in textiles, pharmaceuticals, leather, agro-processing and agricultural production areas in Botswana. 

They also expressed interest to export coals to Bangladesh. They invited Bangladeshi businessmen to participate in the next Botswana Global Expo.

Both sides agreed to exchange trade and investment missions to each other countries. The State Minister invited the Botswanan Trade and Industry Minister to participate in the 50th anniversary of the FBCCI to be held in Dhaka in March 2023.

 He briefed the visiting Bangladesh delegation about the facilities of investment in Botswana. 

He maintained that textiles, pharmaceuticals, leather, non-leather shoe, agro and food processing could be very potential sectors of investment by Bangladeshi investors. 

He said that the Bangladeshi investors can reach out to SADC countries and avail AfCFTA facilities once they invest in Botswana. 

He underlined the need of close cooperation between the businessmen and chambers of the two countries.

The State Minister for Foreign Affairs briefed the Business Botswana about the leading industrial sectors in Bangladesh. 

He mentioned that textiles, leather, pharmaceuticals, IT and ICT Industries of Bangladesh which have a good export market abroad.

 He stated that Bangladesh and Botswana may forge cooperation in pharmaceuticals, textiles and other sectors. 

He particularly referred to contract farming as a potentially beneficial sector which would contribute to food production and food security areas.

 The State Minister mentioned that Bangladeshi entrepreneurs already invested in some African countries in textiles and pharmaceuticals sectors.

At the meeting with business leaders, Bangladesh side expressed readiness to extend technical knowledge in textiles to the Botswanan side in the required area.

 It was also discussed that business delegations on textiles, pharmaceuticals and other sectors will visit Bangladesh from Botswana in order to share knowledge and experience in the sectors. 

The State Minister invited the Botswanan business persons and entities to participate in the 50th anniversary of the FBCCI to be held in March 2023. 

The Botswanan Business Chamber agreed to conclude the MoU on cooperation with FBCCI the draft of which is under discussion between both apex chambers, through a virtual meeting in the near future.