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BOTC, BEMA join forces

Partnership expected to boost efforts for export led economy

Botswana Trade Commission (BOTC) and Botswana Exporters & Manufacturers Association (BEMA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which is aimed at creating a framework for cooperation and collaboration between the two organizations as they execute their respective mandates.

In addition, the MOU establishes a means for a dialogue between the two parties in the areas of mutual interest.

Speaking at the signing ceremony on Wednesday, BOTC Caretaker Chief Executive Officer, Shirley Moncho, said the MOU is a testimony to their commitment and dedication to serve their clients which include exporters and manufacturers.

“As we join forces to serve these clients we will ensure that they contribute to the vision of the government of having an export led economy and transformation of the economy from upper middle income to a high income status. This would require a well-developed industry at the center of our drive. With developed industries comes employment, which in turn will help reduce our current figures of unemployment which is about 20.7%,” said Moncho.

According to Moncho, since their mandate with BEMA feed into one another, it is imperative for the two entities to coordinate and harmonize over issues of mutual interest which will result in greater accomplishments.

“Areas of cooperation include exchange of information and consultation with each other on a regular basis on matters of mutual interest. Moreover the strategic partnership would also build capacity of the officers from the two organizations in terms of improved understanding of their respective mandates therefore providing a better chance to serve the business community more efficiently,” she said.

For his part BEMA Chief Executive Officer, Mmantlha Sankoloba, said the MOU comes at a time when the exporting and manufacturing landscape have seen a drastic change.

“I believe this will foster a greater working relationship between BEMA and BOTC in addressing cross border trade related issues and other issues such as development, growth and protection of infant industries such as the ones BEMA represents. Therefore this MOU will serve as a foundation for numerous commitments that will ensure the nations objectives are met,” said Sankoloba.

BEMA is a business membership organization which represents over 350 private sector exporting and manufacturing entities.

Over the years the organization has represented private sector businesses at national, regional and global level therefore serving in key platforms such Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) reference group just to mention a few.