Swazi King Mswati III yesterday encouraged Taiwanese enterprises to invest in his country, which he said has an array of opportunities for profitable investments.
“We are aware that our Taiwanese friends have gone a long way toward attaining first world status through innovation, creative thinking and action. It is against this background that we invite your businesses to come and invest ... and share experiences with the Swazi business community,” he said.
Mswati III and a delegation of more than 50 Swazi government officials yesterday held a trade and business opportunity conference in Taipei, bringing together 125 representatives from various industries to discuss how to promote investment, trade and tourism between the two countries.
In his speech, Mswati III said that his government will continue to support the establishment of new companies, as well as all the operations and future plans for existing businesses.
“The Kingdom of Eswatini looks forward to interested Taiwanese people to consider joining with our private sector to partner in a number of ongoing capital projects, including the Royal Science and Technology Park, the Swaziland International Convention Center and Swazi City,” he said.
These are among many other projects aimed at anchoring Swaziland’s strength as an investment and tourism destination, said Mswati III.
Currently, Taiwan’s exports to Swaziland are about US$14.57 million, while Swaziland’s exports to Taiwan only amount to about US$220,000. Over 20 Taiwanese companies have investments in Swaziland, with aggregate investment of more than US$90 million, mostly in the textile industry.
Despite the small level of trade and investment between Taiwan and Swaziland, Swaziland has great potential to attract Taiwanese businesses, Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang (楊進添) said.
“The government of Swaziland continues to improve its investment environment ... Other than that, the Taiwan-Swaziland Trade Advancement and Investment Protection Agreement can spare Taiwanese businesses investing in Swaziland from any political risks,” Yang said.
Taiwanese businesses also receive a maximum subsidy of NT$20 million (US$625,000) by investing in any of the country’s 23 diplomatic allies. Taiwan and Swaziland have maintained diplomatic ties for 42 years.
Chang Chu-liang (張咀亮), a representative of Taiwan’s leading solar cell maker Motech Industries Inc (茂迪), asked Swaziland officials whether the country was interested in developing solar energy.
Zizwe Vilane, director of Foreign Investment at the Swaziland Investment Promotion Agency, said that his country could help Taiwanese explore world markets, as many products exported from Swaziland enjoy preferential duty access to markets in MERCUSOR, the Latin American Common Market composed of Argentine, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa, the US and the EU.
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