Trade & Investment Opportunities
Eswatini is envied for her strategic location in Southern Africa. The country is able to reach regional markets hassle-free, and on top of that boasts one of the best infrastructures in Africa and has been characterized by enormous progress emanating largely from foreign direct investment in Mining, Agribusiness, Tourism, Manufacturing Industries, etc.
Eswatini’s economy is fairly diversified, with agriculture, forestry and mining accounting for about 8.2% of GDP, manufacturing (textiles and sugar-related processing) representing 42% of GDP. The Title Deed Land, where the bulk of high value crops are grown (sugar, forestry, and citrus) is characterized by high levels of investment and irrigation, and high productivity.
PROMOTING INVESTMENT IN ESWATINI
The Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority (SIPA) was established through an Act of Parliament, the Eswatini Investment Promotion Act 1998 and was formally launched in April of the same year. SIPA is a Category of a Public Enterprise and is wholly funded by the Government of Eswatini, with initial assistance from the European Union. SIPA’s Mission is to:
“Promote and facilitate foreign direct and local investment in Eswatini, with the objective of creating the wealth necessary to enhance the Social and Economic Development of the Kingdom and its people.”
The SIPA objectives are:
- To attract, encourage, facilitate and promote local and foreign investment in Eswatini.
- To initiate, coordinate and facilitate the implementation of government policies and strategies on investment.
- To provide a one-stop information and support facility to local and foreign investors.
- To advise the Minister on investment policies, strategies, proposals and suitable incentives for investors.
Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority
SIPA’s strategies and activities have focused on working towards the attainment of its broad objectives, and have focused on: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI): In order to promote the creation of employment opportunities, SIPA promotes Eswatini as an “Investment Location of Choice” to Investment Markets abroad such as Europe, United States of America, Turkey, Taiwan, Malaysia, Gulf Region, India, Brazil, Mauritius, Japan, Korea, Thailand, the Republic of South Africa, and the United Kingdom, amongst many other target locations. In this process, investment opportunities in Eswatini are presented to companies in seminars in groups or to individual companies on “one-on one” basis based on direct targeting of companies.
Investor Facilitation and Aftercare Services: The Investor facilitation service has the objective of providing a one-stop service facility for investment information and support to local and foreign direct investors who decide to establish business in Eswatini. Information provided covers basic cost factors, availability and costs of utilities labour and transport costs. In addition, information is provided on business registration and licensing, work and residence permits, factory shells and available factory sites. This department also reviews government policies, regulations and legislation and makes recommendations for reforms to the relevant Ministry.
Within the Investor Aftercare Programme, the Department visits and assists established businesses on difficulties they may be experiencing so as to try and retain such investors in the country.
Domestic Investments: This department has the responsibility of developing local entrepreneurs and encouraging them into participating in investment projects, particularly the primary business sectors as opposed to the retail sector. It also assists local entrepreneurs with their plans for expansions, and forming linkages with foreign direct investors either in joint-ventures or in sub-supply functions. The department conducts business seminars across the country in an effort to raise awareness and help business groups organise themselves.
Research and Policy Analysis: This is a new department set up to provide information that influences policy and formulates strategy for SIPA and Government to grow investment in Eswatini. Beyond conducting business and sector risk analysis, the unit also monitors and interprets macro and micro economic including social environment and political environment in order to keep SIPA relevant to investors and Eswatini.
INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN VARIOUS SECTORS
- Electronic Components Manufacture & Assembly
- Automobile Spare Parts Manufacture
- Processing of hides and skins (Leather goods and footwear)
- Furniture and other timber related Manufacturing
- Fruit, Vegetable Preservation and Bottling
- Bottling (preservation) of pickles and chutneys
- Bottling of jams and jellies
- Processing of beans and other legumes
- Dairy products (e.g. Yoghurts, custards) and ice bottling of spring water and flavoured spring water
- Juice squeezing (fresh juice from oranges. grapefruits, guavas etc) for sale to restaurants and public