Friday December 15, 2017
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BACKGROUND

Located in the heart of Abu Dhabi, Capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Embassy began its operations in September 2008. It was however officially opened by His Majesty the King on 18 October 2010. It is one of the few Southern African Development Community (SADC) Embassies and consulates in the UAE namely, South Africa, Mozambique, Angola and Tanzania. However, a number of African Union (AU) Embassies have set up in Abu Dhabi Namely, Benin, Angola, Djibouti, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal, the Sudan, Eritrea, the Comoros, Uganda, the Guinea and The Gambia. His Excellency, the Ambassador only assumed his duties in August 2010.


RECRUITMENT OF EMBASSY LOCAL STAFF MEMBERS

The Embassy has already recruited a total number of six (6) local staff members namely, the Embassy translator, receptionist, cleaner and three active driver. On its part, the Government of the UAE will provide a security officer for the Chancery.

MISSION’S OBJECTIVES

• In line with the government’s stated objective regarding attraction of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) into the Kingdom, including trade and tourism flows, the Embassy’s activities have been tailored towards making progress on these matters in line with the Ministry’s policy push away from traditional to economic diplomacy. Royal visits into the United Arab Emirates including other high profile visits from the Kingdom have provided the much needed platform and magnate to dialogue with potential investment partners in the gulf region.

• In addition to promoting and enforcing diplomatic ties between the two countries, the Embassy, therefore has an objective to, promote trade, investments and tourism into the Kingdom line with the broader government objective. In this regard, the Embassy collaborates closely with both the Swaziland Tourism Authority (STA) and the Swaziland Investment Promotion Agency (SIPA), in securing presentation and promotional material on trade and investment matters.

• The United Arab Emirates (UAE) remains a net importer of basic agriculture commodities including other basic food items due to the climate conditions of the country. Such imports are largely financed from its vast oil revenues.  The UAE is also a net importer of labor, especially the skilled and semi skilled category. Given its oil wealth, the country has become an important contributor to Foreign Aid especially to other Gulf Member States including some African Union (AU) Members States. Herein lies the value for cooperation and collaboration between the two Kingdoms.

POTENTIAL BENEFITS FROM THE MISSION’S PRESENCE IN THE UAE AND THE GULF
• As regards investment matters, the Embassy has organized and participated in investment and trade promotion Symposium in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. This refers in particular to presentations by the Swaziland Investment Promotion Agency (SIPA), Tibiyo TakaNgwane and the Ministry of Natural resources and Energy made during recent Royal visits to Abu Dhabi and Dubai. These meetings were chaired by the Honorable J. Mashwama, Minister of Trade, Industry and Commerce. The Hon. L.E. Dlamini (MP) Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation also held a number of bilateral discussions with potential partners in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the area of investments.

• As regards trade matters, the Embassy continues to receive enquiries on sugar imports into the UAE, covering both the raw and processed product. This is on account of the newly constructed sugar processing factory in Dubai, the largest in the UAE. Progress regarding possible sugar exports from Swaziland into the UAE has been rather slow. The standpoint of the Swaziland Sugar Association (SSA) on this matter has been that regional markets such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and the European Union (EU) remain the most attractive compared to the Middle East, in so far as remuneration (profit) is concerned. This has been a major challenge, despite obvious interest from the Gulf region to import raw and processed Swazi sugar.

• As of to-date, Swaziland does not have a formal bilateral agreement with the United Arab Emirates, with possible trade, tourism and investment promotion as some of its key components. Existence of such an agreement would not only promote and crystallize diplomatic ties between the two countries, but would serve as a framework within which private operators will conduct business. A number of private sector entities in the UAE have called for such a bilateral agreement, with possibly investment promotion and protection including double taxation as some of its basic ingredients.

GOAT MEAT EXPORTS

• As noted above, there have also been serious enquiries on possible exports of goat meat from the Kingdom into the Middle East. Detailed discussions with relevant players on such a project have however yielded minimal result. This is due to the fact that the country would require, first of all, to engage on a broader strategy to boost goat meat production including investing in an obbaitor that would fully meet halal slaughter standards in order to qualify for exports into the Gulf. In other words, for Swaziland to reap meaningful benefits from goat meat exports into the Middle East, there is need to invest heavily in production and processing equipment so that a sizable quota of exports can be generated on a periodic basis.

HORTICULTURE/DAIRY EXPORTS

• Swaziland needs to capitalize the country’s Horticulture and Dairy industry in order to take advantage of obvious export opportunities into the Middle East. Studies have estimated that the country’s dairy sector has potential to realize an economic return, estimated around E80,000,000.00

BILATERAL RELATIONS/DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE

• To the extent that Swaziland has concluded official bilateral relations with the UAE, the country automatically qualities for funding consideration by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.
This is a Government owned Fund with around US$850 billion in terms of assets. It is managed by a Board of Directors Chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan with His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan serving as Deputy Chairman. The Mission of the Fund is “to continue its benevolent march and its policy of extending economic aid in the form of loan provisions and equity participation in projects to developing nations and to engage in other activities which support these objectives”. The Fund therefore aims to contribute to economic growth and social development for developing countries like Swaziland through financing either country or regional projects. In this regards, the role of the private sector is given prominence in so far as it contributes towards economic growth and therefore wealth.
• Accordingly, the investment policy adopted by the Fund focuses on those investments in companies and projects with a potential to contribute towards the realization of overall national development. In other words in order to be eligible, the private sector or the project being financed should result in added value to the country’s economic development. With regards to specific activities, the Fund provides assistance in the form of loans or grants. This also includes infrastructure projects in such sectors as electricity, generation, water, transportation, telecommunication, health care, agriculture including education.
• Full advantage has to be made of this facility in terms of the soft loans and grants it provides. The challenge therefore is for Swaziland to come up with viable projects and programmes for funding consideration.

THE GULF-AFRICA STRATEGY FORUM

• The Embassy continues to participate in meetings between UAE based African Union Embassies and the Gulf Research Centre. These are aimed towards fostering and strengthen relations between Africa and the Arab world on social political including economic matters. It is generally agreed that both the Gulf and Africa tend to share certain similarities in relation to political instability and security matters and therefore the urgent need to cooperate, and exchange expertise. Similarly, there is increasing realization that whereas the rest of the African Continent is a typical agrarian society, the Arab world has made tremendous economic progress due to its oil exploits whilst water availability remains its major challenge. This is another area where deeper and broader exchange on country experiences could take place in order to identify possible areas of assistance, it has been agreed. Due to lack of portable water, countries within the Gulf have made significant advances in developing technologies to disallianate sea water for general use, with financing from crude oil revenues.
The gulf-Africa Forum held in February, 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa, was the first of its kind. It was organized by the Dubai based Gulf Research Centre (GRC). This is an independent privately funded and on-partisan consultancy think tank specializing in the Gulf region. The forum will bring together key leaders and personalities from the business community, academic, government and the media to outline the main issues and challenges facing the key regions of Africa and the Gulf. It was organized under the theme, “The Gulf and Africa; developing a new strategy and personality. Its outcome was a set of policy recommendations to ensure that opportunities in closer Africa-Gulf ties are highlighted and adequately responded to.

MEETING WITH A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE OFFICE OF THE CROWN PRINCE

• In December 2008, the Embassy held an informal meeting with, Mr. Salem Rashed Al Neyadi, representative of the office of the Crown Prince. The meeting provided Embassy officials an opportunity to get acquainted with the office of the Crown Prince and therefore an opportunity to explore opportunities and possibilities for obtaining any form of assistance should this become necessary in the future. The outcome of this meeting exhibited the very warm and cordial relations between the UAE and the Kingdom. In this meeting, the representative of the office of the Crown Prince assured the Embassy representatives of his availability and commitment to meet with any requirements from Swaziland as and when called upon to do so. It is our assessment that such was not only a useful event, but a very positive meeting.

OFFICIAL VISITS
Since its establishment, the Embassy has facilitated a total of two (2) official visits by His Majesty the King where among others, he met with HH Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and three (3) visits by Her Majesty the Queen Mother where she met with among others with Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Spouse to the late President H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Family Development Foundation. Since its establishment, the Embassy has also facilitated around sixteen (16) VIP bookings in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as part of transit by His Excellency the Right Honorable Prime Minister including some cabinet Ministers.

The Embassy physical Address is as follows:
Al Zaab Area, 13th Street – Villa # 3
Between 28th and 30th street – Khalidya
P.O. Box: 109337
Telephone: 00971 2 6669637
Fax: 00971 2 6669630
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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