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'Pursue Tswana-Congolese trade links

14 May 2023

Botswana and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have vast natural resource and human capital endowment, and the two states' business communities should explore such potential to develop stronger trade links.

Speaking at Botswana-DRC Business Forum in Tlokweng on Thursday, Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Mmusi Kgafela said the current trade status between the two states left a rich scope of business investment opportunities to be explored. He said the two countries had identified mining, energy, agribusiness, manufacturing, transport and logistics, information and technology, health and tourism as key growth areas that could boost economic growth.

He further stressed the need for mineral sector value addition, which he said could exponentially improve the economic fortunes of Southern African Development Community (SADC) states.

“Most SADC economies currently export raw materials with little value addition. This leads to loss of jobs as well as revenue, and to retain them, we must transform our economies into competitive manufacturing and services powerhouses using our region's natural resources and energy,” Mr Kgafela said.

Botswana Investment and Trade Centre Chief Executive Officer, Mr Keletsositse Olebile urged the Botswana business community to exploit  opportunities that exist of products with export potential to the DRC. He implored the local and Congolese captains of industry to also pursue connecting value chains such as industrial development of products including battery manufacturing through exploiting raw materials like lithium and cobalt in the DRC as well as manganese and nickel in Botswana.

He said business investment opportunities also exist in the Special Economic Zones areas demarcated and being developed, such as the Lobatse Meat and Leather City, Sir Seretse Khama International Airport Diamond City, Pandamatenga Farming and Tuli Block Agropolis, Sowa Salt and Logistics.

His counterpart, Mr Anthony Nkinzo Kamole, managing director of the DRC National Investment Promotion Agency said his country was open for business.

Congo's large market, plus comparative advantage in mineral, agricultural, fishing, livestock and tourism as well as the growth potential of infrastructure development and telecommunications made it an ideal candidate for investment and partnership with Botswana business, he said. ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Pako Lebanna

Location : GABORONE

Event : Botswana-DRC Business Forum

Date : 14 May 2023