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Covid-19 wipes out P4.3 billion worth of export earnings in April

Muted global demand of rough diamonds in April resulted in a massive decline in Botswanas total export by value; this is according to Statistics Botswanas International merchandises trade figures for the month of April.

Trade for the month was characterized by widespread declines across exports and imports of commodities coincided with disruptions in international trade by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic which resulted in the country declaring a lockdown from 2nd April to 20th May 2020.

During this period, the Botswana Government took a decision to close most of its borders; those that were open were to allow for the flow of mainly essential goods. Botswana imported mostly essential goods in April 2020.

The leading commodity groups were imports of Food, Beverages & Tobacco, Chemicals & Rubber Products and Fuel at 38.2 percent, 19.8 percent and 15.4 percent respectively. South Africa was the major source of Botswanas imports with a contribution of 73.6 percent to the countrys total imports.

China and India followed with contributions of 3.9 percent and 3.5 percent respectively. With regard to regional groupings, SACU was the major source of imports with a contribution of 77.8 percent.

Asia and the EU followed with contributions of 10.5 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively. Canada contributed 2.4 percent worth of imports to Botswanas total imports during the same month.
Botswanas overall exports amounted to P142.8 million, representing a massive fall of 96.8 percent (P4, 339.2 million) when compared to the revised March 2020 value of P4, 482.1 million. On the other hand, imports stood at P1, 355.1 million, showing a decrease of 78.8 percent (P5, 038.2 million). Subsequently, the country recorded a negative trade balance of P1, 212.2 million.

Botswanas exports were mostly absorbed by SACU with a market stake of 77.4 percent, with South Africa receiving 73.7 percent of total exports during the month under review. Zambia accounted for 7.3 percent of the export market share. The most exported commodities from Botswana were Gold, Salt & Soda Ash and Meat & Meat Products at 35.6 percent, 28.8 percent and 7.3 percent respectively.

The P142.8 million export value was led by Gold at 35.6 percent (P50.9 million). Salt & Soda Ash followed with a share of 28.8 percent (P41.2 million). Copper & Nickel contributed 2.5 percent (P3.6 million) to total exports during the period under review.

During April 2020, Botswana received total imports amounting to P1, 355.1 million. The country mostly imported essential goods. Food, Beverages & Tobacco contributed the most to total imports at 38.2 percent (P517.2 million), followed by Chemicals & Rubber Products with 19.8 percent (P268.7 million).

The Chemicals & Rubber Products group includes pharmaceutical products. Fuel made a contribution of 15.4 percent (P208.4 million). Botswana uses air and road as its main modes of transport. Air transport accounted for 64.1 percent of exports while Road transport accounted for 82.3 percent of imports when considering the values of goods exported and imported.

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China’s GDP expands 3% in 2022 despite various pressures

2nd February 2023
China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 3% year-on-year to 121.02 trillion yuan ($17.93 trillion) in 2022 despite being mired in various growth pressures, according to data from the National Bureau Statistics.

The annual growth rate beat a median economist forecast of 2.8% as polled by Reuters. The country’s fourth-quarter GDP growth of 2.9% also surpassed expectations for a 1.8% increase.

In 2022, the Chinese economy encountered more difficulties and challenges than was expected amid a complex domestic and international situation. However, NBS said economic growth stabilized after various measures were taken to shore up growth.

Industrial output rose 3.6% in 2022 over the previous year, while retail sales slightly shrank by 0.2% data show that fixed-asset investment increased 5.1% over 2021, with a 9.1% hike in manufacturing investment but a 10% fall in property investment.

China created 12.06 million new jobs in urban regions throughout the year, surpassing its annual target of 11 million, and officials have stressed the importance of continuing an employment-first policy in 2023.

Meanwhile, China tourism market is a step closer to robust recovery. Tourism operators are in high spirits because the market saw a good chance of a robust recovery during the Spring Festival holiday amid relaxed COVID-19 travel policies.

On January 27, the last day of the seven-day break, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism published an encouraging performance report of the tourism market. It said that domestic destinations and attractions received 308 million visits, up 23.1% year-on-year. The number is roughly 88.6% of that in 2019, they year before the pandemic hit.

According to the report, tourism-related revenue generated during the seven-day period was about 375.8 billion yuan ($55.41 billion), a year-on-year rise of 30%. The revenue was about 73% of that in 2019, the Ministry said.

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Jewellery manufacturing plant to create over 100 jobs

30th January 2023

The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.

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Investors inject capital into Tsodilo Resources Company

25th January 2023

Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.

According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.

The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.

Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.

Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the company’s market capitalization.

Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana.  The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.

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