The Future for Botswana-Namibia Ties

Botswana is looking to Namibia to strengthen ties between the two countries. Former President of Botswana, Festus Mogae, called on Namibia to develop stronger trade relations with each other. Mogae is hoping to strengthen the economies of countries in Southern Africa and is eventually hoping to extend this effort to more countries, such as Zambia and Zimbabwe. By creating better trade relations with smaller countries, Mogae looks to cut over reliance on imports from South Africa and to create better economic opportunities for southern African countries.





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IMF Upgrades Botswana’s Growth Forecast

The IMF’s World Economic Outlook (WEO), released on 9 October 2012, projects that Botswana’s real GDP will grow by 3.8 per cent this year; this is an increase from April’s WEO, which predicted 3.3 per cent growth. The October WEO expects inflation in the range of 7.5 per cent and the 2012 current account balance to be a positive 3.9 per cent of GDP, reflecting strong exports of goods and services.

However, the WEO also reported several threats to Botswana’s continued economic growth. Through trade, the economy is strongly linked to South Africa, which provides over 70 per cent of the country’s goods. This is problematic for Botswana due to South Africa’s close ties with the crisis-ridden Euro area.

Furthermore, the IMF reported that the risk of higher food prices to net food importers like Botswana would erode savings the national and local levels. Finally, the IMF warned that a prolonged slowdown in China   – a major market for Botswana’s copper, nickel and coal – could adversely affect GDP and employment figures.

To avoid unnecessary damage to the domestic economy the IMF recommends that Botswana continue strengthening policy buffers and preparing contingency plans to deal with any economic downturn.

On a positive note the Pula Fund, one of the country’s key sources of protection from external market shocks, has made strong gains following its precipitous decline during the global recession, recovering from P43.5 billion at the end of 2009 to P55.6 billion in July 2012.


Mozambique: International Economic Cooperation Through 48th Annual FACIM

So far 16 countries and 21 individual foreign companies have confirmed their attendance at the 48th annual Maputo Trade Fair (FACIM). FACIM is held to allow local Mozambican businesses to showcase their products to both the local and international community. The countries expected to attend are currently South Africa, Namibia,  Zambia, Germany, Brazil, China, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Italy, Macau, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Kenya and Turkey. This diverse group of nations will certainly allow for an increase in international economic cooperation, as well as the growth of Mozambican companies.

Joao Macaringue, the chairperson of the Institute for Export Promotion, has mentioned that FACIM is growing to a point where not even the new facilities for the fair will accomodate everyone expected to attend. They only opened these new facilities for last year’s FACIM but they reportedly will need more than the seven existing pavilions and thus are looking into acquiring additional tents for the event.

The expansion of the event, which will take place August 27 through Sepetember 2, is an excellent sign for the development of the Mozambican economy. Not only does it show that the international community recognizes the potential for investing in Mozambique, but it also promotes the business in the surrounding areas during the time of the event.

The event slogan is “Expanding the horizons of your business, by making the best use of synergies”. This is extremely fitting for the goal of cooperation amongst local businesses, international companies, and nations.

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