Botswana and the World Trade Organisation (WTO)

Botswana has been a member of the World Trade Organization(WTO) since 31 May 1995.  The WTO is an international organization dealing with the rules of trade between countries.  Its main function is to ensure that trade flows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.  The latest round of negotiations among the WTO membership is the Doha Round, also known as the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), aimed at improving the trading prospects of developing countries.  The Round was launched at the WTO’s Fourth Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar, in November 2001.  Under the Doha Round negotiations, Botswana’s interests are articulated under  group arrangements such as: African, Caribbean and Pacific(ACP) Group; African GroupG-90G-33and Informal Group of Developing Countries. 

Monitoring of national trade policies is a fundamentally important activity running throughout the work of the WTO.  This work is carried-out by the Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB).  All WTO members are reviewed, and the frequency of each country’s review varies according to its share of world trade.  Botswana is reviewed together with other SACU Member States.  Three (3) Trade Policy Reviewsfor SACU has been undertaken.  In 1998, the SACU Member States were reviewed as individual countries.  In April 2003 and October 2009, SACU Member States were reviewed under one umbrella.  Botswana has never been involved in dispute cases as a complainant, as respondent or a third party.