czi president.jpgThe Bostwana Confederation of Commerce, Industry and Manpower (BOCCHIM) has commended the signing of the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) for strengthening economic ties between Botswana and Zimbabwe in line with the regional integration agenda.

 

The signing of the BIPPA by the two countries’ government on Monday has been described as an important step in improving economic ties between the two countries.

 

The move is likely to increase trade and enhance the SADC goal of regional integration.

 

Speaking at a networking dinner hosted by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), BOCCHIM Vice President Mr. Tuli Johnson said the two countries’ governments should continue to work toward the creation of an enabling trade environment and not just policy interventions.

 

“Our governments must look at removing things like non-tariff barriers to trade, we must listen to business, when business flourishes the economy grows, we certainly mean business” said Mr Tuli. 

 

CZI President Mr. Joseph Kanyekanye said the BIPPA affords several opportunities for local industry urging the Botswana business community to consider local firms for strategic partnerships as Botswana industry has indicated that it is seeking diversification.

The BIPPA which avails a US$76 million credit facility pledged by Botswana in 2009 is expected to unlock trade and investment opportunities between the two countries.

 

The funds are for equity participation and working capital.

 

The US$76 million facility which is mainly for the manufacturing sectors is expected to raise industrial capacity, which stood at about 50% in 2010.

 

Liquidity shortage has been the major constraint in the effort to boost capacity utilisation and value addition of raw materials.