Honourable Ministers

Representative of the French South Africa Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Visiting French Business Delegation

Senior Government Officials

Representatives of the Private Sector

Captains of Industry

Members of the Media

Distinguished guests

Ladies and gentlemen

Sanibonani!  Bonjour ! Good Morning!

May I, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, welcome all our visitors to the Kingdom of Eswatini. We are delighted to host you this morning as you explore various business opportunities offered by the Kingdom. From the onset, I would like to thank the main organisers of this event, Thuli Phiri and the Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority (EIPA) who put together an engaging programme for today. Furthermore, I would like to acknowledge the efforts made by the businesses represented in this forum for ensuring that this investment exploratory mission is accomplished.

The Government of Eswatini is determined to pave way for a more private sector-driven economy. We believe that the private sector is a catalyst for development and provides the best model for leveraging economic growth. It for this reason that we strive to ensure that government’s interface with business is underpinned by efficiency.

Interactions between Eswatini and France are not new. Eswatini has played host to a number of French institutions including businesses and non-government entities. These include Total, Air Liquide - trading as Swazi Gases, Allianz Francaise, (The French Alliance) as well as the Medicines San Francises (Doctors without Borders), amongst others.

Within the broader Trade Framework of the SADC Economic Partnership Agreements (commonly known as SADC – EPA), we note with pride that we are engaged in trade talks with France for the import and export of various products.

Our current statistics show that Eswatini exported to France 12 Million Euros worth of goods and imported goods worth 13 million Euros in the past three years. Export products from Eswatini to France mainly consist of fresh baby vegetables, handicraft and artworks, organic compounds and sugar, amongst others. Imports from France to Eswatini meanwhile consist of precision machinery for various uses such as health equipment, electrical and power equipment components, as well as other various acids, lubricants and chemical compounds. 

Programme director, ladies and gentlemen, you will recall that the SADC-EPA has an investment Chapter that seeks to address the investment inflows between the SADC EPA group of countries and the European Union. As a government, we seek to leverage on this framework in addition to the European External Investment Plan (EEIP), and bring in more foreign investments into the country. In this regard, we applaud the expansion plans that have already been demonstrated by the Swazi Gases company which are a reflection of their confidence in the economy of Eswatini.

One of our value propositions is access to a wide configuration of markets in which French companies can take advantage of, as long as the products originate from Eswatini. Such markets include the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) spanning across the Eastern and Southern Africa region with a combined population of over 360 Million inhabitants and 19 member countries.

That is why internationally renowned conglomerates like Coca–Cola have comfortably invested in the country for over 30 years, supplying these markets from Eswatini under preferential trade terms, while enjoying the priceless dividend of peace and stability of the Kingdom.

As part of our economic renewal strategy Government has prioritised a number of sectors where we seek to leverage economic growth through attracting private sector investment. These sectors include; Agriculture, Manufacturing and Agro-processing, Tourism, Energy, Mining, ICT and Education. To augment growth in these sectors, government has also charted a path to open up Special Economic Zones with a generous incentive package.

May I hasten to add that the Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority (EIPA) is available to assist businesses with information and subsequently setting up in the country. They will be available today to give you a range of options as well as support mechanisms for your companies to consider for your investment decisions.

As I conclude, may I once again thank you all for being part of this event, and pledge His Majesty’s Government’s commitment to supporting your business ventures in our beautiful Kingdom.

Merci Beaucoup! Thank you.

OffCanvas Menu