The Botswana pula has traditionally had a similar exchange rate to the South African rand, which meant that goods sold for almost the same price in both countries.
|Exchange rates: Botswana|
|pulas per US$1|
|SOURCE : CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].|
During the late 1990s the pula was much stronger than the rand, resulting in South African products becoming relatively cheaper when purchased in pula. Botswana could afford to import more South African products. The stronger pula relative to the rand also meant that foreign investors found Botswana a more attractive place to invest money. However, during the same time period the pula gradually lost its value against the U.S. dollar, meaning that imports valued in U.S. dollars, such as those from the United States itself as well as from many other countries, were more expensive. But Botswana's exports, especially diamonds, were cheaper for American and European buyers.
The Botswana Stock Exchange, established in 1995, had 22 companies listed in 2001, including 6 South African companies.