The Kingdom of Swaziland
is the third smallest and among the least populous countries on the African continent. Landlocked, and with South Africa and Mozambique as its only neighbors, Swaziland ’s economy is fairly diversified, with agriculture, forestry and mining accounting for about 8 percent of GDP, manufacturing (textiles and sugar-related processing) representing 27 percent of GDP and services – with government services in the lead – constituting 14 percent of GDP.
Title Deed Lands (TDLs), where the bulk of high value crops and plantations are grown (citrus, sugarcane and forestry) are characterized by high levels of investment, irrigation, and high productivity.
The Swazi economy
is very closely linked to the South African economy, from which it receives over 90 percent of its imports and to which it sends about 70 percent of its exports. Swaziland’s other key trading partners are the United States and the EU, from whom the country has received trade preferences for apparel exports to the United States (under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and for sugar (to the EU). Under these agreements, both apparel and sugar exports did well, with rapid growth and a strong inflow of foreign direct investment. Textile exports grew by over 200 percent between 2000 and 2005, and sugar exports increased by more than 50 percent over the same period. The recently concluded Investment Climate Assessment (ICA) provides some positive findings, namely that Swazi firms are among the most productive in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In addition, the country has a long established free enterprise economy, political and economic stability as well as a safe and secure location for business, family and property. Institutional support services are available from well established international firms.
Competitively priced utilities such as water, electricity, telephone and postal services are readily available. Foreign exchange and international money transfers are provided through the international commercial banks operating in the country. Capital goods and raw materials enter the country free of customs and excise duties.
The Manufacturing and Processing sectors
have been the major contributors to the economic growth and the government is committed to increasing its contribution through a variety of incentives. In addition, Tourism, Agriculture and Natural Resources have been identified as having potential for driving economic development and are also eligible for government support.