Thursday, October 9, 2008

Swaziland seeks pact with South Africa to enhance investment

afrol News, 3 October 2008

Swaziland and its neighbouring South African province of Mpumalanga are to forge ties aimed at growing business in the region while at the same time broadening investment opportunities beyond 2010 FIFA's first African showpiece.

Swaziland Investment Promotion Authority (SIPA) and Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA) will come together in a seminar scheduled for 17 October 17 at Royal Villas, an event said to an essential marketing tool to grow economies of Swaziland and South Africa, two agencies say.

The meeting is further expected to provide an opportunity for both countries' organisations to forge relationships and form business linkages with key players and decision makers in various sectors.

The conference and business matching meetings, will also bring in a lighter interaction with a golf day on 18 October, which according to organisers 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 great opportunities not only for investing in the two locations and sectors, but showcasing export potential outside of Swaziland," organisers said in a statement.

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

"This seminar results from 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 further said they were looking at attracting about 100 local companies or business people with viable projects or proposals in various identified sectors, such as 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.

Apart from main presentations meeting will also break into smaller focused sessions looking at specific sector investment opportunities, with a further follow-up of business matching one-on-one meetings by participating sectors from each country.

Though tiny kingdom of Swaziland has come under much criticism and pressure to democratise, country believes there is a lot it can offer in terms of investment opportunities, especially in areas of agriculture, tourism as well as mining.