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MANZINI – Eswatini continues to uphold free-market economic principles through which the private sector takes a leading and active role in production, His Majesty has said.

 Speaking during the official opening of the Eswatini International Trade Fair (EITF) yesterday, the King said government created a friendly business environment while the private sector took the lead.

He said the country’s trade within the region and globally has been enhanced by its membership to several trade agreements such as the SADC, SACU, COMESA, Economic Cooperation Partnership with Taiwan, AGOA and EU-EPAS (Economic Partnership Agreements).

He encouraged the business community to take advantage of these markets. Ingwenyama urged the country to adhere to international quality standards in order for the kingdom’s products to establish a niche on the global markets. The King noted that these trade agreements were crucial in fostering economic growth, particularly business.

His Majesty stated that the EITF, since inception, has served as a catalyst in promoting trade in the domestic and external markets. He said government’s participation at the Trade Fair has, in itself, provided an opportunity to offer public services to the people, disseminate information about government services, promote culture and governance structures.

His Majesty has listed milestones achieved in the 50 years as follows –
The initial years of the trade fair began with major focus on agriculture and extended to other sectors, including manufacturing, financial services, retail and recently information, communication and technology (ICT).

govt plans to expand existing facility

In three decades, the fair grew in leaps and bounds until 1998 when government realised the need to expand the premises, hence the relocation to the present site.
Subsequently, within a decade of operation in the new premises, the number of exhibitors has increased, necessitating provision of marquees for additional exhibition space. Therefore, government plans to expand existing facility in order to create more space for exhibitors.

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