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Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Botswana to Continue With EU Cooperation

Botswana is due to continue benefiting from cooperation with the European Union (EU) despite uncertainty from the United Kingdom's decision to exit the European common market. In an interview on the sidelines of the Botswana heads of missions conference in Gaborone recently, the Ambassador to Belgium and the European Union, Mr Samuel Outlule said the country's trading agreements with the EU were still in effect, and that the legal aspects of British separation ('Brexit') were still to be ascertained. "Of course there are a lot of questions that are still to be answered because the relationship evolved for over 40 years, hence there has been a number of laws and regulatory arrangements with regard to trade. So we are still to know if the agreements of separation will not disrupt the existing commercial and economic relations," he said. Mr Outlule said over the years, Botswana has had a long partnership and cooperation with the EU, and that the benefitted from the beef market under the cooperation because the EU offered high prices which had been the case for considerable amount of time up to now. He said other arrangements included the stabilisation export that Botswana had benefited from over the years as well as other resources that were made available to a number of development programmes for the country. "Therefore the decision by UK to leave the EU comes at a time when the EU has developed as a union to a very high level of integration. As you may be aware, there is a single market that the European Commission has substantial authority to act on behalf of the member states," Ambassador Outlule said. He said the UK would still be negotiating with EU, but he could not ascertain what the nature of the relationship would be. He said for the UK to continue enjoying the single market, it would take the other 27 countries to decide on the terms of the relationship. "We are looking at what it means for us as individual countries. We should understand what trade arrangements we had with the UK as we deal with the legal aspects of the UK's exit and economic partnership elements of their participation with us. I guess we would both not wish that our trading arrangements be disrupted," he said.

Source: Allafrica