Botswana: The Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Beauty Manake, says the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is an opportunity for local companies to export and expand their market within the African continent following the agreement to eliminate trade barriers in order to boost intra-Africa trade.
Manake said this while paying a courtesy call to the management of Chloride Exide Botswana (CEB) in Phakalane yesterday.
The Assistant Minister expressed delight with CEB factory, a company that produces car batteries, saying the Company is a true reflection of strides taken by her Ministry to industrialise Botswana. Manake pleaded with Chloride Exide Botswana management to engage Batswana in their supply value chain.
She says her visit to the Company is a clear demonstration of the Government’s commitment and support for investors.
For her part, the Acting Director of the Department of Trade Development, Johanna Segotlong, said Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) and Financial Assistant Policy had contributed tremendously to the success of CEB locally by securing work permits for the Company’s skilled battery manufacturing, engineering and financial personnel.
She added that more importantly, through the export promotion of CEB’s products into the SADC market, the policy will enable the Company to become a predominately export based company over a short period.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Chloride Exide Botswana (Pty) Ltd, Solly Adam, explained that their Company was established in 1990, where they produced 30 000 automotive batteries a year for the Botswana market. Adam added that over the years, the Company has grown from strength to strength and is seen as one of the market leaders in producing automotive batteries within the region.
“Following a 25-year period of growth, the Company has recently established a state of the art factory in Phakalane. This factory is capable of producing over 500,000 automotive batteries per annum,” adding that approximately 70% of their output is for the export market.