Bottlenecks along trade routes have been identified as some of the most stubborn obstacles to economic growth and development.
Botswana is the eighth WTO member to ratify the trade facilitation agreement whose aim is to ease border procedures and to facilitate the movement, release and clearance of goods.
According to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the agreement is expected to improve efficiency in cross border trade among WTO members, since governments are expected to apply and conduct border controls more efficiently by streamlining and automating border clearing processes.
Chief public relations officer in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Kediretswe Pule said governments are also expected to avail information through the Internet and hence create greater transparency and predictability in the export markets.
“Traders will move their goods across the borders more quickly and easily and transaction costs are expected to be reduced and hence reduce prices for consumers and producers,” he said.
Pule added that transit costs for landlocked countries are expected to reduce together with bureaucracy and corruption. Small and medium-sized businesses will also benefit as excessive bureaucracy and red tape are expected to reduce.
In addition to creating better business environment for the private sector, Botswana will benefit from the assistance from development partners in her effort to implement the agreement. Pule said the agreement recognises that developing and least-developed countries may not have the necessary capacity to implement some of the provisions of the agreement and as such made provisions for assistance...
By Isaac Pinielo: Mmeggi