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Virtual launch of Botswana Exporter Development Programme

Gaborone, Botswana, October 27, 2020 – This morning the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme launched the Revised Botswana Exporter Development Programme (BEDP) through a virtual engagement (Webinar).

When delivering a keynote address at the occasion, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Investment Trade & Industry, Ms. Keganele Malikongwa said the programme has existed since 2013. She said, “The Programme was designed to contribute to Botswana’s exports in an ever-changing and increasingly competitive global environment.”

Ms. Malikongwa added that the Botswana Exporter Development Programme is part of the National Export Strategy (NES) and an essential part of Botswana’s strategic economic framework. “It is worth noting by this gathering here this morning that, the first edition of the BEDP was implemented from 2013 to 2017. It was a successor to the Export Development Programme (EDP), implemented by the former Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA) between 2007 and 2013”, she further explained

On her part the UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Jacinta Barrins explained that her office is excited to be part of the launch of the Revised Botswana Exporter Development Programme. She said it is very important that existing and potential businesses  are encouraged to export and are assisted to ensure their product meet the standards required by the markets.  BITC is well positioned to provide  this support

The pursuit of export-led growth is a key objective of Botswana’s Vision 2036 and central to the National Development Plan (NDP 11). Historically, Botswana’s economic growth has been export-led, particularly during the period from the early 1970s to the mid-2000s as the diamond industry expanded rapidly. However, diamond exports’ contribution to the economy has been declining, in relative terms, over the past two decades, and in 2018 were equivalent to 24 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), compared to over 50 percent in the mid-1980s and 40 percent of GDP in the early 2000s.

Therefore, it was found necessary to diversify exports and promote the growth of non-diamond goods and services to ensure sustained GDP growth, balance of payments stability and employment creation. Institutionally, the Government established the Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA) in 1997 to help promote export-led growth. In 2006, the Botswana Government developed its first five year National Export Strategy (2006-2010) whose key objective was to make Botswana more internationally competitive and more productive in order to increase and diversify its export base thereby raising incomes and the standards of living of Batswana.

In 2012, BEDIA was merged with the then International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) to establish the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC). After the launch of the second National Export Strategy (2010-2016), the Government decided to establish a Botswana Exporter Development Programme (BEDP) that spanned from 2013 to 2017, that was aimed at increasing exports through targeted interventions undertaken by various agencies and service providers. The Botswana Investment and Trade Centre is responsible for managing BEDP.

The Revised Botswana Exporter Development Programme was developed with the support of UNDP. It is a programme that seeks to implement the aspect of the Botswana National Export Strategy by building the capacity of local private sector to produce products that are ready for and competitive in the international markets

For more information and media interviews, contact:

Lebogang Tlhaloso, UNDP Communications Associate - Tell: +267 363 3745; | Mobile:+267 71 686 682; Email: lebogang.tlhaloso@undp.org

Johnson Tsoro Maiketso, Programme Specialist – Economic Diversification and Inclusive Growth , Tel: +267 363 3710 Email: johnson.maiketso@undp.org

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