Eswatini- Market OverviewEswatini - Market-Overview
Eswatini is a small country (slightly smaller than New Jersey) with a population of 1.1 million. It is bordered by South Africa and Mozambique.
Eswatini has a relatively diverse economy dominated by the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. Due to its small population, Eswatini has positioned itself as an export oriented economy, tapping into several free trade blocks and customs unions. Export-oriented industries drive the economy and provide 80 percent of GDP.
Eswatini is currently a member state of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA - 390 million people), the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC - 290 million people), and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU - 60 million people). Eswatini is a member of the Common Monetary Area (CMA) of countries whose currencies are pegged to the South African Rand.
Approximately 90 percent of the country's imports come from or through South Africa and nearly 65 percent of Eswatini's exports are bound for its dominant neighbor. U.S. exports to Eswatini account for less than 1 percent of Swati imports. U.S. imports from Eswatini account for 1.5 percent of Swati exports. (Central Bank of Eswatini) The United States runs a trade surplus with Eswatini of more than US$7 million. (USITC, 2015)
Primary infrastructure (roads, electricity, water, and telecommunications) is relatively well developed and modern. Macroeconomic performance has continued to stagnate, with real GDP growth averaging 0.5 percent in 2018. (Central Bank of Eswatini Annual report 2018).
Recent positive developments include the country’s January 2018 reinstatement under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the enactment of the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Act.
Top five reasons US companies should invest in Eswatini include:
Extended market access into the region
Quality support infrastructure and utilities
Stable and good industrial relations regime
Safe and peaceful environment
Strong investor protection framework