Chain Stores to Follow Trade Regulations

| June 15, 2015

Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry says chain stores and other foreign owned companies will in future have to partner with locals if they are to sell accepted goods.

Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) recently, Ms Peggy Serame said the government has come up with a deliberate policy to obligate chain stores and listed companies operating in Botswana to partner with locals if they want to sell goods which are reserved for locals.

Some of these goods include baby clothes, jewellery, cellphones, sunglasses, and cosmetics among others.

She explained that in this instance the locals will have the majority shareholding. She however said in the past some of the shops have been given exemption to sell these items, thus competing with the locals and noted that when the government introduced the new policy which subsequently barred foreign owned companies from selling reserved goods, those who were already trading with such commodities were not affected,

She also admitted that some companies shun locally produced goods and as such the ministry has been engaging with them for the past two years to make them realise the importance of stocking such goods in their retail stores.

A slight improvement is however noticed in some chain stores, adding that since there is no law forcing them to accommodate locally produced goods what they can do as the ministry is to encourage retailers to abide by the regulation..

With regard to the reduction of liquor trading hours especially in clubs and other entertainment centres, she said the ministry has been holding talks with club owners to see how best to address the issue.

In addition, Ms Serame said the ministry is developing a strategy for creative entertainment in conjunction with other stakeholders.

However chairperson of the PAC, Mr Abram Kesupile pointed out that there is need for the construction of proper entertainment buildings which could also accommodate theatre performances, noting that at the moment Batswana always flock to neighbouring South Africa for theatre performances on weekends.

Another member, Mr Polson Majaga, who is also MP for Nata-Gweta, said tourists in Botswana usually crossover to neighbouring countries for entertainment in the evening and as such the country loses a lot of revenue.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Business & Finance

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