Thursday, October 9, 2008

Showcasing investment opportunities beyond 2010 in Swaziland

THE Swaziland Investment Promotion Authority (SIPA) and Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA) seminar scheduled for October 17 at the Royal Villas is an absolutely essential marketing tool to grow the economies of Swaziland and South Africa, the two agencies say.

It is expected to also provide an opportunity for South African and Swazi organisations to forge relationships and form business linkages with key players and decision makers in the various sectors within the two countries.

The conference, business matching meetings and Golf Day (October 18) will be used as a platform to promote Swaziland and Mpumalanga as premier investment destinations.

Flagship projects, products and services produced locally and from Mpumalanga Province will be presented, highlighting the great opportunities not only for investing in the two locations and sectors, but showcasing the export potential outside of Swaziland.

The seminar, which would be the first South Africa/Swaziland Investment Seminar to be hosted, is a collaboration between SIPA, MEGA, the South African High Commission and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).

"This seminar results from the former South African President's visit to the country. As a result of a report culminating from that visit, we saw it fit, together with our counterparts from Mpumalanga, to do something to promote our trade relations," said SIPA CEO Phiwayinkhosi Ginindza.

He said they were looking at attracting about 100 local companies or business people with viable projects or proposals in various identified sectors; mining, energy, agri-business, tourism, general manufacturing and infrastructure to participate in the seminar while MEGA would also be bringing about 100 companies or business people to share experiences and partner with their local counterparts.

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

Investment Seminar (October 17, 2008)

The seminar will entail plenary sessions and breakaway sector sessions. Content for business presentations will be based on practical business opportunities, funding, trade agreements and incentive schemes.

Packaged projects from Swaziland and Mpumalanga will be presented. The focus will be on ensuring investors are able to dialogue with project promoters and government institutions responsible for the sectors, thus increasing access to the projects for participants.

The conference will incorporate sector breakaway sessions. These will be smaller focused sessions looking at specific sector investment opportunities and will include speakers representing government and private sector business.

Business Matching Meetings (Afternoon - October 17, 2008)

The aim of the business matching meetings is to ensure that relevant visiting delegates are matched with local business. The business matching one-on-one meetings will follow the interactions at the conference.

These will ensure ease of access for those delegates attending the conference who are keen to meet specific company representatives for detailed discussions.

Golf Day (October 18, 2008)

The Golf Day, to be held at one of the latest Golf Estate developments in the country, Nkonyeni Golf Estate is an 18-hole golf course situated in Manzini, Sidvokodvo.

The Golf Course was developed by Phil Jacobs, formerly with Gary Player Design. This is his 40th Golf Course development, offering an exciting and challenging game for both the amateur and professional golfer.

Opportunities for investment are still available within the Golf Estate.

Phase 2 of the development comprising of 163 residential stands will be launched shortly.

Banquet (October 18, 2008)

A banquet will be held at the Royal Villas where SIPA and MEGA will be signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and more networking will take place.

KEY SECTORS

Endowed with rich cultural heritage, scenic beauty, rich soils and natural resources, Swaziland truly lives up to the adage that 'dynamite comes in small packages'.

A strong financial services sector backed by a sound regulatory and legal framework, excellent market access, an educated and vibrant labour pool and many other attributes are some of the attractions in the neighbouring state.

To this end, key sectors for the event have been identified encompassing a broad sector base, each offering excellent growth potential. These are energy, mining, tourism, infrastructure, agro-business and general manufacturing, including beneficiation.