Thursday, February 26, 2009

Swaziland: 'FDI data collection systems need improvement'

THE systems for collecting and disseminating foreign direct investment (FDI) in Swaziland need to be improved, says Central Bank of Swaziland (CBS) Governor Martin Dlamini.

While the governor observed that the CBS gathers statistics on the balance of payments, of which FDI is part of, he said, however, that the systems for collecting and disseminating FDI needed to be improved.

"Although we are able to measure the FDI inflows and outflows, it is not yet at satisfactory levels," he told participants when he officially opened a four-day workshop at the Royal Swazi Sun yesterday.

The governor also observed that FDI was an important vehicle for economic development and that it was, therefore, important to ensure the correctness and availability of statistics.

"We need statistics that are dependable and accurate," he said.

The workshop, jointly organised by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), aims at improving local systems for collecting and disseminating data on FDI flow and stock activities of foreign affiliates of trans-national corporations (TNCs). 
The workshop aims at raising awareness of internationally accepted standards and guidelines regarding the compilation of data on FDI and the activities of trans-national corporations.

The national workshop, which started yesterday and ends on Thursday, is being attended by officials in public and private institutions who deal with statistical issues on FDI.

It is also expected that participants will be assisted into understanding definitions and methodologies in this area as well as provide them with advice on specific issues and challenges of particular interest to the country, such as cross-border mergers and acquisitions as well as compilation of investment in services.

The workshop includes developing a national strategy in the area of FDI data compilation and dissemination as well as setting up the compilation and data dissemination system for internationally comparable FDI and TNC statistics.
"Eventually, the country will have capacities to analyse such data and formulate better policies on FDI," states a report prepared for the workshop.