National Trade Policy of Botswana

 Botswana’s Trade Policy refers to the complete framework of laws, regulations, international agreements and negotiating positions as well as Government’s guidelines and pronouncements on trade which define how the country will conduct its trade with bilateral, regional and multilateral trading partners. This Policy plays a key role in the flow of goods and services between Botswana and her trading partners.

Even though the Policy is founded on the principles of free trade and competition, Government recognizes the fact that countries rarely put in place policies that permit perfectly free international trade. Instead, each country maintains a mixture of both restrictive and free trade policies.

Objectives of Botswana's Trade Policy Botswana’s Trade Policy is designed to facilitate the achievement of the broadest possible free and reliable access to markets for the country’s exports of goods and services, while also enabling producers and consumers to access the widest choices of international goods and services on the best possible terms.

In addition to this broad objective, Botswana’s trade policy has the following specific objectives:

  1.     to develop strategies that will make trade the main engine of growth for Botswana;
  2.     to diversify the export sector and the Botswana economy in general;
  3.     to develop a viable and vibrant private sector that will be able to exploit the emerging export opportunities availed by the trade policy;
  4.     to increase and improve market access and international competitiveness for Botswana’s goods and services;
  5.     to support/advocate for carefully planned liberalization, restructuring and simplification of both tariffs and non-tariff barriers;
  6.     to improve trade facilitation processes and procedures between Botswana and her trading partners;
  7.     to ensure that natural resources are sustainably used in trade activities;
  8.     to mainstream all relevant citizen economic empowerment strategies and initiatives into the trade policy;
  9.     to ensure that trade activities contribute towards poverty reduction;
  10.     to ensure that Botswana trade rules and practices support regional integration and are WTO compatible;
  11.     to integrate Botswana into the world trading economy;
  12.     To harmonize cross-cutting issues with Botswana’s trade policy initiatives.

The Key Trade-supportive Policies and Legislation include:

National Development Plan (NDP 10) and Vision 2016 which define the broad trade policy framework for the country and envisage Botswana having achieved economic prosperity in which trade plays a dominant role in the realization of economic diversification and poverty reduction;

  •     Industrial Development Policy and Competition Policy which aim at creating a conducive environment for the private sector to develop and flourish under conditions of free and fair trade;
  •     Botswana’s National Export Strategy (NES) which aims at assisting Botswana firms to develop export competencies, access financial resources and market information, and thus achieve competitiveness that allows them to penetrate global markets;
  •    Investment Strategy for Botswana which aims at creating a conducive environment for both domestic and foreign firms to invest and flourish in Botswana;
  •     Private Sector Development Strategy which aims at developing a vibrant and globally competitive private sector that is capable of taking advantage of the market access opportunities opened by Trade Policy.


February, 2010