Africa Moyo Business Reporter
The Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC), which is aimed at promoting investment opportunities that exist in the two countries.
The MoU was signed on Friday night in Bulawayo on the sidelines of the 59th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.
ZIA is the country’s investment promotion body, while BITC is Botswana’s trade and investment promotion institution.
The signing of the MoU is a culmination of negotiations that started during President Mnangagwa’s State visit to Botswana almost two months ago.
BITC had already inked another MoU with ZimTrade, the country’s trade promotion body, through which the bodies agreed to promote trade in the two respective countries.
ZIA chief executive officer Richard Mbaiwa said; “. . . it became apparent that there is a need to develop stronger and closer economic ties . . .”
The signing of the MoU is expected to see greater joint efforts to attract investment into both countries, as well as establishing a practical framework for co-operation on investment issues.
Mr Mbaiwa said the MoU will also strengthen institutional relations through mutual co-operation.
In pursuit of the MoU, the two parties are expected to engage in exchange study visits; exchange of strategies, documentation and materials; and organisation of and participation in business missions in the two countries.
BITC brought a delegation of 13 companies to ZITF and ZIA is already planning to attend Botswana’s Global Expo scheduled for late October, in fulfilment of the MoU.
Mr Keletsositse Olebile, the BITC acting CEO said the MoU; “is one of the significant steps towards establishing solid co-operation between our two entities that have been established to attract investment into our respective countries”.
“Through this MoU, we will jointly execute and maintain mutually beneficial working relations for the achievement of our common objective of promoting economic ties between Zimbabwe and Botswana,” said Mr Olebile.
He added that the MoU was a “new beginning and opportunity” considering that both countries have new Heads of State that are pro-business and investment.
Despite considerably strained relations in the last decade or so between the two countries, Botswana continuously participated in the ZITF, an indication of its confidence in doing business with its neighbour, said Mr Olebile.
He said in the spirit of the MoU, BITC will use its three international offices in South Africa, India and England to also market Zimbabwe’s investment opportunities.
Botswana’s Ambassador, Lieutenant General Louis Matshwenyego Fisher, said the MoU is good for both countries, which share an 800km border.