MR AMBROSE MANDVULO DLAMINI

                                                AT THE OFFICIAL CLOSING OF THE ESWATINI INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR 2019

                                                              MAVUSO TRADE & EXHIBITION CENTRE, MANZINI

                                                                    MONDAY 09 SEPTEMBER 2019



Your Royal Highnesses


Honourable Ministers

Excellencies Members of the Diplomatic Corps

Regional Administrator

Honourable Members of both Houses of Parliament

Mayor of Manzini;

Exhibitors and Sponsors of the Eswatini International Trade Fair

Members of the media

Distinguished Guests;

Ladies and Gentlemen.


It is my honour and pleasure, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, to welcome you all to this ceremony and to perform the official closing of the 51st edition of the Eswatini International Trade Fair.

May I from the onset pass my sincere gratitude to His Majesty King Mswati III for officially opening the Eswatini International Trade Fair and giving an important strategic direction in terms of business engagements for Government, the Private Sector and the Public Sector.

His Majesty mentioned vital elements that will inform the next chapter for trade within Eswatini, in Africa and other international markets. With access to global markets, Emaswati should be able to fully comprehend that our trading markets are not just limited within the country but now extend beyond our borders. The Ingwenyama stressed the need for Emaswati to look beyond our borders in conducting business, with an emphasis on our continent Africa. He said (I quote) “Africa, with a population of more than one billion consumers and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of more than US$3 trillion, should be our primary trading terrain as Emaswati” (Unquote).

With the launch of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area and other trade agreements that Eswatini has secured with international blocs, we indeed emphasize the point that Eswatini is Open for Business. We also articulate the need for the full utilization of all our available trade agreements in fulfillment of the objectives of His Majesty’s Government, as stipulated in the Strategic Roadmap - to be a private sector and an export driven economy.

We recognize the importance of creating an environment where businesses have all the opportunities at their disposal to thrive, innovate and create sustainable jobs, especially Medium and Small Enterprises.

The Eswatini International Fair continues to provide a platform for domestic and export trade, as evidenced by the hosting of over 20 international companies at this year’s Trade Fair. I hope Emaswati took advantage of these business opportunities availed by the 2019 Trade Fair by forging strategic linkages and partnerships with companies already trading in international markets.

This is not to say the local domestic market is not important, as we are all aware that Eswatini remains a net importer of goods and services. I trust that this year’s Trade Fair has unpacked opportunities for turning the economy and country to be a net exporter of goods and services. While others see opportunities to send goods into Eswatini, let us grab these opportunities by supporting local suppliers of same, while exploiting all available prospects of exporting our produce.

I have been reliably informed that we have over 200 exhibitors and vendors, with 22 foreign exhibitor companies from countries such as Taiwan, Indonesia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, USA, Lesotho and Botswana. I take this opportunity to thank all our international exhibitors for showcasing their products in Eswatini.

I hope you have not only engaged in profitable business while here but were able to identify what Eswatini business can offer you for your own business expansion.

I extend my hearty congratulations to all exhibitors who have made this Eswatini International Trade Fair 2019 a resounding success. I have no doubt most of you made direct sales and expanded your reach over the past 10 days. As Government we advocate for business linkages and partnerships that extend beyond the days of the Trade Fair.

I also take this opportunity to thank all the Trade Fair sponsors and partners for their support in ensuring that the private sector and the public are presented with such valuable platforms for business growth, expansion and product diversification.

May I also thank and congratulate the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade and the Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority for hosting another successful event and for consistently promoting trade and investment.

Congratulations to all the exhibitors who have shown excellence in their stands in all the different categories. As a sign of recognizing their good work, today we will award them with the Stand Excellence Awards. This year showcased a very competitive exhibition as most companies went an extra mile to show that Eswatini is indeed ready for first world status.

Most of the exhibition stands mimic what you would generally find in international exhibitions and expos, mainly in first world countries.

It is now my honour, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, to declare the 2019 Eswatini International Trade Fair officially closed. I would however like to emphasize that business continues in Eswatini as we are only closing this assembly.

Eswatini remains open for Business.

Thank you. May God bless us all.  

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