Discusses key economic indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, the U.S. market share, the political situation if relevant, the top reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to this country, and other issues that affect trade, e.g., terrorism, currency devaluations, trade agreements
Last Published: 8/5/2019

Eswatini is a small country (slightly smaller than New Jersey) with a population of 1.1 million. It is bordered by South Africa and Mozambique.

Eswatini has a relatively diverse economy dominated by the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. Due to its small population, Eswatini has positioned itself as an export oriented economy, tapping into several free trade blocks and customs unions.  Export-oriented industries drive the economy and provide 80 percent of GDP.

Eswatini is currently a member state of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA - 390 million people), the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC - 290 million people), and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU - 60 million people). Eswatini is a member of the Common Monetary Area (CMA) of countries whose currencies are pegged to the South African Rand.

Approximately 90 percent of the country's imports come from or through South Africa and nearly 65 percent of Eswatini's exports are bound for its dominant neighbor. U.S. exports to Eswatini account for less than 1 percent of Swati imports.  U.S. imports from Eswatini account for 1.5 percent of Swati exports.  (Central Bank of Eswatini)  The United States runs a trade surplus with Eswatini of more than US$7 million. (USITC, 2015)

Primary infrastructure (roads, electricity, water, and telecommunications) is relatively well developed and modern. Macroeconomic performance has continued to stagnate, with real GDP growth averaging 0.5 percent in 2018. (Central Bank of Eswatini Annual report 2018).

Recent positive developments include the country’s January 2018 reinstatement under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the enactment of the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Act.

Top five reasons US companies should invest in Eswatini include:

  1. Extended market access into the region 

  2. Quality support infrastructure and utilities

  3. Stable and good industrial relations regime

  4. Safe and peaceful environment

  5. Strong investor protection framework

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.