Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) has launched a trade portal that will enable easy access to trade regulatory information. The portal is a web-based solution intended to make use of current technology for ease of trade. When officially launching the portal on Tuesday, Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry Sadique Kebonang said the introduction of the portal is a step by the government towards implementing the new World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation. The portal has two objectives - to make it easier for traders and investors to understand and comply with regulatory requirements associated with exporting and importing; and to help Botswana to fully comply with its international obligations at WTO levels.
Kebonang said provisions of the WTO General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) require countries to promptly publish and make available all regulatory requirements for export, import and transit of goods across borders. “I am pleased to be able to state that Botswana was among the first WTO members to ratify the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation,” said Kebonang. It is expected that the trade portal will contribute to trade facilitation not only in terms of increased transparency and predictability of doing business across borders, but also improve the time it takes to import, export and clear goods in and out of Botswana.