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Botswana flag Botswana:

Country risk of Botswana : International trade

Botswana has made significant efforts to open up to international trade and strengthen its integration in the region, despite its geographical position. According to World Bank, international trade accounted for 76% of the country's GDP in 2020. Diamonds represent 88.2% of the country’s total exports, while other significant exports included insulated electric conductors (1.9%), gold (1.1%), live bovine animals (0.9%), and carbonates (0.9%). Botswana primarily imports diamonds (30.7%), petroleum oils (9.6%), electrical energy (3%), motor vehicles (2.3%), and tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles (2.3%). The country is heavily dependent on electricity imports, as it only produces 60% of its needs domestically. Botswana’s trade balance is highly dependent on global prices and demand for diamonds.

The United Arab Emirates, Belgium, India, South Africa, and Singapore are the country’s leading exports destination. South Africa, Belgium, Namibia, the United Arab Emirates, and Canada are its main suppliers. The country is a member of several regional and foreign trade organisations like the WTO, the SACU (South African Customs Union), and the SADC (Southern African Development Community), and has signed trade agreements with the European Union and the United States. Botswana is among the freest economies in Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to the last available data from the WTO, Botswana exported USD 4,262 million worth of goods in 2020, while its goods imports reached USD 6,516 million. As for services, the country imported USD 679 million and exported USD 486 million. As a result, the country's overall trade balance equalled USD 2,4 million in 2020. Overall, imports increased 4.3% compared to the previous year, while exports decreased 21.4%, mainly due to the negative impacts of the pandemic on global diamond trade, which significantly impacted Botswana's exports.

International Economic Cooperation
Member of Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU)

Member of Southern African Development Committee (SADC)

Member of African Union

Member of Commonwealth of Nations

Member of the African Economic Community

Member of the Cotonou Agreement

Assessment of Commercial Policy
Country’s commercial policy, as seen by the WTO
Average Customs Duty (Excluding Agricultural Products)
Customs and excise duties are charged on importation of goods (including currencies) into or exported out of Botswana. The import duties may also include anti-dumping and countervailing duties. The customs duty average rate is 18,74% (as of 2017).
Useful Resources
Botswana Unified Revenue Service
Government Portal - Republic of Botswana
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA), Ministry of Trade & Industry

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Latest Update: July 2022