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SD to start treating SA as trade partner

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MBABANE- SIPA has seen the need to diversify into other areas of trade to allow the country’s FDI inflow to grow.

This is due to the fact that only three per cent of global Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) comes to Africa, as reported by the United Nations conference report on trade and development.

The Central Bank of Swaziland Annual Report for March 2010 revealed that despite countless efforts by the country to bring foreign investors, the inflow remains very low.

The African continent has 55 countries and according to the United Nations report all the member states of the continent share the three per cent of global FDI.

Imagine

Swaziland Investment Promotion Authority (SIPA) Chief Executive Officer Phiwayinkhosi Ginindza said the fact that Africa shares three per cent of global FDI should show how competitive the global trade market is.

"If you consider that Africa has its own economic powerhouses, you can only imagine how much of the three per cent is channelled to Swaziland," he said.

Ginindza said competition was stiff within the whole of Africa, adding that this required new methods for the country to bring in FDI.

At the moment the country’s FDI is dominated by textile investors which have saturated the industry and were now looking at new markets like the agro business.

Ability

"It is important that we start focusing on the magnitude of the investments we bring into the country, we are looking at huge investment opportunities that have the ability to stir up significant economic growth and we believe that the agro sector has the potential to give us the desired rewards," he said.

Ginindza said the Middle East had been identified as potential strategic partners for investment opportunities in the agro sector, adding that this sector has played a pivotal role in uplifting the economy’s the respective countries.

He also added that SIPA will start treating South Africa as a trade partner than a competitor.

Linkages

"I believe Swaziland can complement South Africa and there is so much we can benefit from them. We can have linkages with them where trade is concerned," he said.

Ginindza added that there was no time for the country to surrender to the competition it is facing in the SADC region.

He mentioned countries like Mozambique as growing economies that have made the market even more robust.

"However, there is no reason to panic as global economic signs indicate a positive upturn as compared to the last three years.

"Also we have clear advantage as an investor destination because of the incentives we give to outside investors compared to our competitors and the fact that Swaziland is a friendly and peaceful environment allowing stability in trade," he said.

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