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Botswana to develop new strategies for AGOA: Minister
Mar '16
Botswana would develop new strategies during the financial year 2016-17 to take better advantage of opportunities under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), acting trade minister Sadique Kebonang told the country's Parliament, according to an African daily.

The new strategies are anticipated to increase competitiveness and diversification of beneficiary exports to the US. Botswana is one of the countries with limited success in utilising the preferential market under the US AGOA.

Since the commencement of AGOA, Botswana participated in eight sectors in textiles apparel, chemicals, machinery, agriculture, minerals metals, forestry, transport equipment and electronic products.

In the period of 2001-14, exports from AGOA-eligible countries increased by threefold from $1.3 billion to $4.4 billion. However, Botswana's exports to the US in the year 2008 was mere $15 million compared to Lesotho, which exported goods worth $350 million under the AGOA scheme.

AGOA is a unilateral trade arrangement by the US for African member states. It was signed into law in 2000, for a period of eight years, and was further extended until September 30, 2025. The benefits provided by AGOA have allowed for an average of around 70 per cent of all imports from Sub-Saharan Africa to enter the US duty-free.

While AGOA has been successful in providing duty-free access, it still leaves a great deal to be desired regarding the promotion of sustainable economic gains for the continent. Kebonang acknowledged that only a few countries have taken gain of AGOA while the products coverage of these countries' exports to the US still remain limited.

Botswana's ministry of trade and industry has plans to conduct a countrywide workshop to sensitise the private sector on the opportunities of the new AGOA in 2016-17. (NA)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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