In an endeavour to boost the doing of business standing and foreign investor confidence, Botswana through the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) has officially launched the multibillion SADC Trade Related Facility (TRF) project.
SADC Trade Related Facility trade project is a partnership project between SADC Secretariat and European Union (EU).
The SADC TRF is a mechanism facilitating financial and technical support SADC Member States to assist them in implementing commitments made under the SADC Protocol on Trade and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and the SADC EPA Group.
While launching the project the minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Bogolo Kenewendo said the € 2.6 million (P31 million) trade project will enhance the global competitiveness of Botswana in doing of business rankings.
She said in the current hard economic times, the TRF will also go along in boosting the investor confidence hence securing increased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
“The EU has availed Euro 2 600 000 to us for the implementation of various interventions in order to improve our global trade competitiveness. It encompasses getting BOBS internationally recognised, capacitating our standards officers, revising the Customs Act, the development of our E-commerce/Digital economy strategy, our commitments in implementing the SADC trade protocol and AFCFTA,” she charged.
Kenewendo said the SADC TRF is crucial towards the maximum achievement of reviewing the 2010 Botswana’s Trade Policy and National Export Strategy goals.
She said the trade policy review has since instigated a highly potential export dominated economy with more prospects of diversified products as well as the worthy markets.
Initially, the completion of the project implementation which kicks started last year has been extended to 2021 as it was scheduled to be completed in September this year.
In addition, she revealed that so far 30% of the initial funds have been already utilised with consultants having been engaged to develop the national strategy in e-commerce.
The overall objective of the Trade Related Facility is to improve the participation of SADC Member States in regional and international trade with the aim of contributing to sustainable development in the region.
Precisely, the SADC TRF aims to enhance the implementation of the SADC Protocol on Trade and the EPA to increase intra and inter-regional trade flows of the concerned SADC member states.
Moreover, the SADC TRF is financed through a Contribution Agreement between the SADC Secretariat and European Union (EU) signed in July 2014 in five years term. It is implemented through the Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment (TIFI) Directorate in the SADC Secretariat with the Ministry of Trade being the project driving body locally.