Botswana - Country Commercial Guide
Market Entry Strategy

Generalizes on the best strategy to enter the market, e.g., visiting the country; importance of relationships to finding a good partner; use of agents.

Last published date: 2022-08-02
  • Local partnerships are generally required for GoB tenders.  Local preferences in favor of Botswana citizen-owned or locally based companies are also increasing in government and the private sector.  To gain access to most GoB loans and grants, having a local partner is generally mandatory.
  • It is difficult and often cost ineffective to compete for GoB contracts without a local partner even in cases in which the tender announcement does not limit participation to local companies.  Tenders are at times designed based on goods and services in the market.  Many announcements are made in hard copy with short deadlines, and bureaucratic requirements can pose a challenge without the presence of local representatives.
  • In Botswana, personal relationships established telephonically, or preferably in person, are essential to establishing effective business relationships.  Meeting partners face-to-face is important.  Formality and respect for protocol are valued in Botswana and facilitate good relationships.
  • Government officials and business managers often do not take business proposals seriously if they are not provided by an individual or company physically located in Botswana.
  • BITC can facilitate market entry if the investor’s project will create jobs, transfers skills, and diversify Botswana’s economy.  IT-related companies may want to consider a relationship with the Botswana Innovation Hub in order to facilitate market entry.
  • It is most effective to tie one’s project to declared GoB goals of diversifying the national economy away from dependence on diamond revenues, creating employment, and developing skills and capacity in discussions with GoB officials.
  • The U.S. Embassy’s Economic/Commercial Section can assist U.S. investors by providing general advice on economic conditions and, in some cases, specific market intelligence.  The section offers Gold Key Matchmaking Services and International Partner Searches, for a fee.  To get started, visit our website at https://bw.usembassy.gov/.