New Trade Policy Framework for Botswana
UNCTAD has been assisting Botswana to formulate a national trade policy framework, in order to make full use of the transformative power of trade for development. The document was adopted by the Government and stakeholders at a workshop in Gaborone on 16 February 2016.
At the request of the Government, UNCTAD has been supporting Botswana to review and develop a Trade Policy Framework (TPF).
The objective of the review was to assist Botswana to:
Diversify exports away from diamonds to other products, including processed foods, meat, vegetables and exports of services.
Open new export markets both within Africa and internationally, while improving existing ones.
Promote integration into world trade and global value chains, through a proactive trade policy.
Two initial stakeholder consultants supported by UNCATAD were held in 2015 to start the process. Finally, on 16 February 2016 in Gaborone, the Botswana National Trade Policy (NTP) was adopted by a group of around 50 participants from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, other Ministries dealing with trade-related issues, the private sector and civil society.
The stakeholders’ validation workshop was opened by Mr. P. Butale, Chief Negotiator, Ministry of Trade and Industry. Who, speaking on behalf of the Permanent Secretary, thanked UNCTAD for their support.
“We sincerely register our happiness and thank you for the support for this trade policy. However, we also wish to request for support in the implementation of this Trade Policy Framework and look forward to further UNCTAD’s support again,” he said.
The main recommendations of the TPF include the following:
Improve institutional and regulatory frameworks and upgrade private sector competitiveness, in order that they may contribute more effectively to trade and development.
Train officials involved in the formulation of national trade-related policies, in order that they may better understand the role of trade and its contribution to poverty reduction.
Improve quality control and harmonization of standards and address trade barriers, including rules of origin.
Enhance the business community's trade readiness so they may take advantage of market access opportunities within both regional and global markets.
Improve the country’s investment policies through better incentives, to ensure that investment contributes more to trade and development.
UNCTAD has committed to support the Government during the implementation period which is scheduled to start this year. To that end, UNCTAD has proposed a draft implementation matrix containing objectives, actions, and responsibilities and monitoring and evaluation mechanism. This proposal is being studied by the Government.
UNCTAD’s Trade Policy Framework Reviews
UNCTAD has supported developing countries in assessing and formulating coherent national trade policy frameworks and in strengthening the linkage between trade, employment and development. Apart from Botswana, such support has been provided to Algeria, Angola, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Namibia, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Tunisia and Zambia.