The SA-BW Partnerships are also aimed at developing sector specific opportunities between SA and Batswana companies.
Executive Director of South Africa Business Forum (SABF) in Botswana, Dennis Mashabela says his country has a fundamental responsibility to contribute to the economy of Botswana.
Mashabela was speaking last week during the South Africa-Botswana Business Partnerships launch in Gaborone, an event whose purpose was to officially launch a process to drive and deliver procurement and value chain linkages, and other deepened partnerships between SA and Botswana companies, which will in turn benefit people of both countries.
The SA-BW Business Partnership initiative has been on the cards for the past six months, and Mashabela said it should have been long started “considering the substantive family and business ties between our two countries.”
The initiative, he said, came upon as a way to “contribute to an improved socio-economic trajectory for Botswana.” Through this, SA Business Forum partners with businesses and key stakeholders to create strategies and initiatives to grow and diversify Botswana’s economy.
“South Africa has a fundamental responsibility to contribute to the economy of Botswana,” he said, further noting that there is an organization called Invest Trade Africa that was launched five months ago, which requires South African business operating in neighboring countries to set up joint ventures in those countries.
The SA-BW Partnerships are also aimed at developing sector specific opportunities between SA and Batswana companies in among others – garment and apparel manufacturing, food production and processing; logistics; tourism/hospitality; retail, services and innovation.
Mashabela concluded by saying that on an annual basis, they will showcase opportunities developed or implemented to the public, the business community and other stakeholders, at an SA-BW Partnerships Expo that will be held before the end of March.
For his part, Business Botswana Chief Executive Officer, Dr Racious Moatshe said; “We have the responsibility to see the private sector grow. We will like to see more participation of South African businesses in our economy.” He is of the view that though some of the businesses may not be able to procure locally because of their product line, they can offer technical assistance.
Some of the popular South African businesses and brands operating in Botswana include Mr Price, Pep Stores, CB Stores, Woolworths, Nandos and Hungry Lion.