The economic relations between France and Botswana have been improving over the past few years.
In 2016, the bilateral trade reached 28 million euros, which represents a 16 million euros increase compared to the previous year and a progression of more than 20 million compared to 2014. The main exports from France to Botswana are aircrafts and spacecraft, as well as pharmaceutical products. The main imports from Botswana are manufactured products, plastic material products, and mining industries products.
In 2016, Botswana was the 150th market for French exports, and the 80th bilateral trade surplus. France is the 4th supplier of Botswana at the European level, and the 13th worldwide, with a market share of 0.7%. Conversely, exports of Botswana products to France are limited, in spite of the Economic Partnership Agreement that was signed with the European Union in June 2016.
Botswana has many assets that the Embassy of France, with the assistance of the Economic Regional Department based in Pretoria, actively highlights to the potential investors, as evidenced by the organization of the first France Botswana Business Forum in May 2017, which put together French investors, Botswana political authorities, as well as Botswana economic actors. This Forum successfully showed the common commitment towards the reinforcement of the bilateral trade. Furthermore, the signature of the amendment to the fiscal cooperation agreement between France and Botswana in July 2017 should create a conducive environment for French investments in Botswana.
Botswana is the first Southern African economy in terms of GDP per capita, thanks to its huge amount of natural resources. It is characterized by a remarkable political stability and a positive business environment, as proved by its good results in the different international rankings linked to transparency and quality of the business environment. Botswana was ranked position 71 at the international level (and 3rd African country) in the “Business Doing” 2016 ranking from the World Bank, and position 37 at the “Corruption Perception Index” 2016 ranking from Transparency International.
Despite its narrow local market (only 2 million inhabitants), Botswana has a significant economic potential that should encourage French companies to develop their activities. Besides the democratic and political continuity, Botswana is well located in the heart of the Southern Africa region and close to the capital city of South Africa. Botswana is also involved in most of the regional economic agreements, and enjoys dynamic growth rate projections, a solid financial sector, as well as a positive macroeconomic framework.