Economic Overview

The Kingdom of Swaziland possesses a comparative advantage in the agriculture sector having been endowed with four agro-ecological zones exhibiting different climates with average annual rainfall of over 1500mm in the Highveld. The country boasts abundant mineral reserves such as coal (of high anthracite quality), gold, diamond, and iron ore. Swaziland has an educated workforce which is competitively priced and has stable labour relations and non-rigid labour laws. The Kingdom is proud of its quality road and rail infrastructure network which has been ranked consistently well by the Global Competitiveness Indices. The well maintained MR3 Road which is part of the SADC Corridor connects the Kingdom to the surrounding countries of South Africa and Mozambique through which it has access to key ports.


Swaziland enjoys benefits from preferential access to European markets (through the interim EPA), American markets (through AGOA) and to the Southern African market (through SACU and SADC). Leading exports in Swaziland include soft drink concentrates, sugar, wood pulp, cotton yarn, refrigerators, citrus and canned fruit wile lead imports include motor vehicles, machinery, transport equipment, foodstuffs, petroleum products, and chemicals. The economy is closely integrated with South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economy, through a customs union and a common monetary union and this is a great advantage for Swaziland’s private sector, presenting easy access to financial capital.

Swaziland’s GDP Per Capita Compared to Sub-Saharan Africa (current US$)

GDP per capita compared to sub-Saharan Africa (current US$)

Source: World Bank, 2013

  • Inward FDI flows in 2013 amounted to US$67 million, with FDI stocks at US$838 in 2013. The previous three years, however, had seen a stronger FDI performance.

Foreign Direct Investment in Swaziland

Foreign Direct Investment

Source : UNCTAD World Investment Report 2014

 

Current Account (percentage of GDP)

Current account (% of GDP)

Source: www.africaneconomicoutlook.org, Swaziland 2014; estimates (e) and projections (p) based on authors' calculations.