The government of eSwatini welcomes foreign investors. The country is trying to re-establish a lasting growth and every new partnership counts.
It’s called ESwatini, no longer swaziland!
Since May 2018, the country has retaken its pre-colonization name. The date is no coincidence – it corresponds with the 50th anniversary of its independence. The name still signifies “the land of the Swazis,” but in the siSwati language.
The Last Kingdom of Africa
One must zoom in on Africa to discover eSwatini. This tiny but great state, like a mini-Belgium, seems almost squeezed between Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Commercially, eSwatini depends enormously on these two neighboring giants. Trade with South Africa alone accounts for 90% of its total imports and 75% of its total exports.
Fortunately, the economy has many other outlets, such as the European Union, its second trade partner, which controls 14.2% of its exports.
Despite all this, in the current situation, the country’s trade balance is negative.
To assure full autonomy, eSwatini must find new synergies.
A 2022 Vision Midway Report
In 2015, the King Mswati III proposed an economic development vision for his country. The project, called Vision 2022, aims by this date to make eSwatini a more economically developed world player.
This announcement was accompanied by a policy of industrial development, which traces the roadmap of steps to be put into action. The industrial development will be humane, sustainable, social, and above all, technological.
Even if the economy today still relies primarily on agriculture, this policy has already opened opportunities in mining, energy, tourism, ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), research, and high-technology.
Appeal to Investors
The industrial revival stemming from the 2022 Vision is simultaneously focused on increasing local resources and inviting welcoming investors. Of all the initiatives taken, remember these:
- New norms seek to ensure the compliance of goods and services with international demand
- Fiscal incentives for businesses involved in research and development
- Simplification of administrative procedures to facilitate access to funding
- Deregulation of trade and services
- Development of industrial skills
- If these commitments and others become a reality, eSwatini will become a welcoming and competitive industrial haven.
The country enjoys many strategic advantages: strong protections on investments (MIGA, CIRDI, signatory of CNUCED), an abundance of natural resources, reliable networks of water and electricity, quality road infrastructure, a competitive workforce, and serviced land/property already available.
Certain businesses have already caught on and taken advantage. Coca-cola, for example, has been installed there for years and benefits from a special tax rate.
Investors are assisted onsite by thee eSwatini Investment Promotion Authority (SIPA). This administration is a unique window to promote and to facilitate foreign investment.
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