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Botswana-China trade relations improve

The trade volume between China and Botswana jumped from $145 million in 2007 to $360 million in 2008, the new Chinese ambassador to Botswana has said.

Mr. Liu Huanxing said on Tuesday that the 80 percent growth was accompanied by a favourable balance of trade for Botswana, for the first time in its commercial relations with China. "Growth of trade volume has made headway and enjoys further space of improvement," he said. The ambassador was speaking during a reception he held at his residence. He said that although it is his first time in Botswana, he has already adapted to the working and living conditions of the country. He stated that he is learning the history, culture, education and other things about the country.

Samuel Outlule, the permanent Secretary in Botswana Ministry of Foreign Affairs commended Liu on his knowledge of Setswana even though he has not been in the country for long. He said China and Botswana have had a strong bilateral relationship since 1975.

Last year when China was hit by a devastating earthquake Botswana donated P1 million to assist in the rescue and rehabilitation efforts. Outule said China is assisting Botswana in the development of infrastructure. These include construction of two primary schools in Maun and Serowe and phase two of the Letlhakeng-Morwamosu road. The party at the ambassador's residence was attended by ministers and members of Ntlo ya Dikgosi among others.

(18 June 2009, Mmegi)

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