The August trade mission to Maputo, Mozambique was part of Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC)’s continued efforts to enhance the sale of locally manufactured goods and services into the region and beyond.
This is also on the backdrop of Botswana’s relatively smaller population, as well as strategic positioning within the region. According to BITC Director, Corporate Communications, Kutlo Moagi this year’s trade mission coincided with the Maputo International Trade Fair (FACIM) that takes place in Marracuene, outside Maputo.
The fair that took place from August 31 to September 06, attracted attendants from all over the world especially in Portuguese speaking countries like Brazil and Portugal, looking to tap into one of Africa’s most vibrant economies.
During the mission, BITC held a number of activities that are expected to yield fruit in the long run.
Ambassador of Botswana in Mozambique, His Excellency Thuso Ramodimoosi hosted business delegates from a wide array of sectors like the Confederation of the Business Association of Mozambique (CTA), the Chamber of Commerce, the Investment Promotion Centre (CPI), as well as the Institute for the Promotion of Imports and Exports (IPEX).
“There were a number of one-on-one meetings and site visits that BITC in collaboration with the Embassy had arranged for our companies on the sidelines of the trade fair,” Moagi says, adding that all the activities presented a number of opportunities that the companies had to explore.
Moagi is quick however, to state that no agreements were signed during the mission, but a number of local companies were able to generate some level of interest from Mozambique chain retailers, distributors, agents, and other general buyers. “We will devise a thorough monitoring strategy so that we are able to keep tab on any new developments that would probably be leading to actual export transaction,” she says.
The delegation on the trade mission comprised of representatives from Botswana Meat Commission who manufacturer beef products, Sleek Foods who manufacture vegetable relish and sauces, Arona Natural Foods who manufacture cooking oil, Kwena Concrete who manufacture concrete products, Feura Sport who manufacture sportswear, AH Design who manufacture leather products, as well as F&G Botswana who manufacture tobacco extracts and fragrances.
The greatest lesson learnt from the Maputo mission, according to Moagi is that Africa; especially the immediate sub-region still has a lot of opportunities that local companies can tap into. “The Mozambique market is currently dominated by South Africa and Brazilian products, and Botswana needs to sharpen its resolve, as there are advantages of logistics given the fact that the country is very proximal to Botswana by road,” Moagi says.
BITC carries out a number of market surveys prior to trade missions and rely on key trade information available to draw their export promotion strategy and Calendar of Events.
“These is basically a list of countries and markets that we would like to take our local companies to explore export opportunities.”