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Make Eswatini Your Strategic Investment Hub – Vice Foreign Minister

Eswatini Daily News
By: King’s Office Correspondents

TAIPEI, TAIWAN – Republic of China (Taiwan) Vice Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Tah-ray Yui has urged Taiwanese businesses to make the Kingdom of Eswatini their strategic hub for investment in the continent.

The vice minister made the appeal during a business seminar on exploring investment opportunities in the Kingdom, which was attended by His Majesty the King at the Grand Hyatt Hotel here yesterday afternoon and was attended by a large number of Taiwanese businesspeople.

Some of the businesses that delivered their testimonials on their experiences operating in the country included Tex-Ray Industrial Company’s Alex Young, Dr. Chia-Chung Chen a distinguished professor and Chief Director of African Industrial Research Centre, Liang-Tsung Chen General Manager for Youn Ya International and Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority CEO Sibani Mngomezulu.

The vice minister said Taiwanese businesspeople can use Eswatini as a strategic hub for developing African markets in full cooperation with local partners. He said in addition to helping balance their global supply chains this will also help them identify competitive new markets. “Looking ahead at Taiwan-Eswatini relations and business cooperation, the government of Taiwan is full of confidence. We, too, will do our utmost to engage in close cooperation with Eswatini so as to ensure that business cooperation is mutually beneficial,” he said.

The vice minister said in the wake of the Economic Cooperation Agreement (ECA) between the two countries becoming effective, with the addition of the Regulations Governing Financial Assistance to Encourage Business Entrepreneurs to Invest in countries having diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan), and with the help of Eswatini’s policies, Taiwan’s trade with Eswatini and Africa will grow faster and become more convenient than ever before.

The ECA signed in 2018 granted Taiwanese producers even more favorable conditions for doing business. “It expedited assistance to dispel any qualms about investing and provide more incentives. With the ECA having bestowed numerous benefits, bilateral trade reached nearly 18 million US dollars in 2021. “In the future, by effectively leveraging the ECA and with the help of Eswatini’s comprehensive trade network, Taiwanese enterprises can use Eswatini as a hub, quickly and efficiently expanding the reach of their products into markets throughout the African continent,” he said.

He said Africa is set to be the next driver of the global economy. The vice minister said the continent is already recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. “In 2021, its economic growth stood at 6.9 percent, higher than the global average of 6.1 percent. Furthermore, the IMF has forecast that from 2022 to 2026, Africa will continue to post vigorous and stable economic growth.

“Thanks to its abundance of natural resources and valuable minerals, as well as the power of its demographic dividend, the great potential for development among Africa’s markets has already attracted significant attention from global businesses,” he said when introducing the story of why Eswatini matters to Taiwanese businesses. He told them that Eswatini lies in southern Africa and its mountainous terrain, temperate climate, and beautiful scenery have led the nation to be described as “Africa’s Switzerland.”

“In 2021, GDP per capita reached 4,215 US dollars, placing Eswatini in Africa’s Top 10. Eswatini’s agriculture, minerals, textile, and beverage production sectors have all developed solid foundations. The majority of the nation’s production goes to domestic and African markets,” he said. The vice minister said despite being a landlocked nation, Eswatini maintains a comprehensive and dense system of external trade links through such networks as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the Southern African Customs Union, and the Southern African Development Community.

“These serve as niches and advantages for Eswatini to further develop its economy. In particular, Eswatini has positioned itself at the centre of Africa’s burgeoning e-commerce market, and the outlook for development remains very bright indeed,” he said.

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