By HELEN ZULU –
THERE is need for Zambia and Botswana to openly engage with the business community to facilitate more trade flows between the two countries, Botswana High Commissioner to Zambia, Lebonaanmang Mokalake has said.
Mr Mokalake said both the Zambian and Botswana governments needed consistent and predictable regulations to encourage and facilitate trade, as there were abundant opportunities that still needed to be exploited between the two countries.
He said Zambian companies had the opportunity to earn high profits by exporting large quantities of maize bran and molasses to Botswana as they were on high demand.
Mr Mokalake said during the Zambia-Botswana business seminar in Lusaka yesterday that Zambian companies were not tapping enough into the maize bran market in his country.
“There are abundant opportunities that still need to be explored between our two countries, such as the Kazungula Bridge project and the one stop border post which once completed will bring with it abundant opportunities for business.
“The Northern corridor is another opportunity which is the busiest and important route which creates a natural link between our two countries and the rest of Africa,” he said.
Mr Mokalake also said Zambia had been a consistent source of agricultural produce such as fruit and vegetables, animal feed, iron and copper articles for Botswana.
He further said Zambia remained Botswana’s leading trading partner in the region with his country’s exports to Zambia amounting to US$31,041 in 2016.
Mr Mokalake said the existence of the Double Taxation Avoidance Treaty between the two countries entered in 2014, facilitated business in the form of taxation.
And Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) investment and export director Jonathan Simwawa said agro-processing opportunities for investment existed in many areas such as maize, cotton, tobacco, beans, cassava, coffee, meat and groundnut processing, as well as aquaculture, among others which investors could take advantage of.
He also said Non-Zambians could invest in the Lusaka Securities Exchange without restriction.
“Zambia is on the top 10 economies showing most notable improvement in doing business in the world, this is encouraging and it shows that as a country we are ready for investments,” Mr Simwawa said.