Trade & Investment

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.


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.
Developmental Activities

Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority

EIPA’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, EIPA 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 EIPA 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 EIPA relevant to investors and Eswatini.

  • Electronic Components Manufacture & Assembly
  • Automobile Spare Parts Manufacture
  • Processing of hides and skins (Leather goods and footwear)
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Biotechnology
  • 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


Eswatini has modern infrastructural facilities suitable for export oriented and global companies seeking to gain a foothold in global exports and reduce costs of production/operation, whilst ensuring a safe and well established location. These include reasonably priced and reliable utilities; modern road infrastructure and railway networks; reliable haulage and courier services; and sophisticated banking and insurance facilities.


Eswatini has developed excellent industrial estates in the key urban centres, where medium size and large businesses are found. The industrial sites are fully serviced with reliable infrastructure and utilities including:

  • Competitively priced, factory buildings readily available from the Ministry of Commerce Industry & Trade, the Eswatini Industrial Development Company and private developers
  • A regionally linked electricity supply network that provides a reliable and competitively priced service to all businesses.
  • A well developed and robust Telecommunications system that includes mobile cellular system
  • Abundant and consistent water supply

The government of Eswatini has committed itself towards facilitation of establishing productive enterprises and to reduce the cost of operating expenses, including taxation of the private corporations. Consequently, there are a number of investments which have been put in place that qualifying investments may take advantage of.

Government encourages economic development through private sector initiatives. Foreign and local investment in all business sectors is welcome. The following are examples of investment incentives available to investors.


Developmental Approval Order: This tax incentive is available to investors qualifying as a “development enterprise” in terms of issued guidelines. These incentives include a 10% corporate tax rate for 10 years and an exemption from withholding taxes on dividends for the same.

Capital allowances

  • Plant and machinery used in the process of manufacture – 50% initial allowance in the first year of use and a 10% annual allowance on the reducing balance method over the lifetime of the asset.
  • Hotel construction and improvement allowance – 50% of the cost is deductible in the year in which it is incurred on the construction of a new hotel or beneficial improvements to an existing hotel. In addition, an annual allowance of 4% of such expenditure is allowed.
  • Buildings (and improvements thereto) used to house manufacturing plant and machinery – 40% initial allowance in the first year of use and an additional 4% allowance.
  • Employee housing allowance – 20% in the first year and 10% per annum for the next 8 years
  • Farming – Certain capital expenditure is tax-deductible, but the total deduction in any year of assessment is limited to 30% of the gross income derived by the farmer from farming operations. Any amount disallowed is carried forward and added to expenditure in the succeeding year. Agricultural equipment and inputs are duty free.

Duty free Access on Capital Goods: Capital goods imported into the country as intermediate goods (to be used as inputs for final products) are exempted from import duties.

Duty free Access on Capital Goods: Capital goods imported into the country as intermediate goods (to be used as inputs for final products) are exempted from import duties.

Export Credit Guarantee Scheme: Investors who manufacture/ process for the export markets can obtain funds from local banks to process their orders. The Government of Eswatini, through the Central Bank of Eswatini, guarantees loans for this purpose.

Repatriation of Profits: The liberalized foreign exchange mechanisms also allow full repatriation of profits and dividends of enterprises operating in the country. Repatriation is also allowed for salaries of expatriate and capital repayments.