Economic Relations [fr]
Economic relations between France and Botswana still remain relatively modest.
Bilateral trade grew by 1% in 2012 to reach €8.8 million. French exports developed modestly, only dragged by capital goods and pharmaceuticals sales, whereas imports plummeted due to sales suspension of Botswana beef to the European Union from 2011 to mid 2013. In 2012, Botswana was 181st French export outlet and 100th trade surplus with a €8.3 million positive balance.
Nevertheless, the small volume of bilateral trade must be put in perspective with Botswana exports specificity (diamonds and other minerals) and the difficulty to ensure sales traceability with increasingly segmented supply chains, most of Botswana’s trade is proceeded/transiting through South Africa.
French direct investments flows to Botswana are also negligible. Investment stock was estimated to €1 million in 2012, especially focused on manufacturing industry. While an investment protection agreement is still to be concluded, the bilateral relations will improve when Botswana has achieved its process of legislative and regulatory adjustments as far as tax information sharing is concerned.
Blessed with natural resources, Botswana is characterized by a remarkable political stability and a competitive business environment. The country was ranked 4th African country (59th out of 185 worldwide) by the World Bank for ease of doing business in 2013.
To address the issue of being a landlocked country, Botswana is engaged in an extensive infrastructure policy and is considered as a model of probity continent-wide. According to Transparency International’s report of 2013, Botswana is the least corrupted African country (30th out of 174 worldwide) regarding perception of corruption.
Botswana, one of the most prosperous countries in Africa, has a significant economic potential even with its narrow local market (only 2 million inhabitants). This should encourage French companies, some being significantly present in South Africa through their subsidiaries, to expand in Botswana.