Brussels, 7th march 2023: Today the Ambassador of Botswana in Belgium, H.E Mrs Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba, paid a courtesy visit to the World Customs Organisation (WCO), where she met with the WCO Secretary General Dr Kunio Mikuriya.
The WCO is the global centre for customs expertise and is vital in facilitating legitimate international trade towards economic growth and the social development of its members.
During the discussions, the Ambassador appreciated the initiatives undertaken by WCO to support customs administration in Botswana, SACU and other WCO regions. For his part, the Secretary-General applauded the Botswana Government for the prudent management of resources through tax and customs administration and the government’s active role in diversifying the economy. The Secretary-General furthermore appreciated the Botswana Unified Revenue Service’s (BURS) critical role in revenue collection, trade facilitation and contribution to the sustainable development of Batswana. He encouraged Botswana to be strategic and position herself to benefit from regional and continental intra-trade.
In the SACU region, WCO has supported the SACU Members and Secretariat with the customs modernisation programme, customs management system for process digitalisation, authorised economic operators, one-stop border posts and single window, to mention just a few.
He further stressed that it is essential for countries to prioritise digital technologies through prioritising electronic data as this can assist governments in making better policies.
The two also discussed issues including Tax Amnesty, recently implemented in Botswana, tax compliance, the utility of intensive and extensive tax education, the inclusion of informal traders and ways of curbing illicit trade.