Intra-SADC Trade Performance Review 2006: Chapter 1: Botswana

Year of publication: 
Sydney Mogapi, Standard Bank South Africa
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Botswana has experienced a number of economic difficulties. Macroeconomic data suggest that inflation is high and that the rate of employment creation, particularly in the private sector, has been very low. On the trade front, the economy is dominated by a couple of commodities – diamonds and beef. Though the data anlysed for Botswana suggest that some diversification and specalisation have occurred over time in other products, the country relied heavily on demand from one particular partner, the UK. Nevertheless, relations with the SADC region in general, and with South Africa in particular, are important for the economy.

About 14% of exports are to SADC and the region absorbs some primary commodities processed in Botswana – sugar, meat and products from the copper and nickel industry. In turn, South Africa is the trade partner with whom Botswana has experienced relatively rapidly growing exports and imports.