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Textile sector advised to gear up for preferential trade rollback
Jul '11
Swaziland needs to get ready to withstand competition and uphold its external sector, in case the preferential trade benefits that its textiles and sugar industries enjoy are withdrawn, according to Bongani Bhembe, Budget Director, Ministry of Finance.

He said that the country should analyse its comparative advantage areas and enhance its economic base. The ending of preferential treatment calls for major streamlining of some of the industries and upliftment of those with potential to improve, he added.

The official said that presently the country's economy lacks proper diversification and to a greater extent is ruled by woodpulp, sugar, sugar concentrates and the most latest being the garment industry.

Mr. Bhembe stated that European Union's preferential trade benefits for textiles and trade preferences for sugar, along with the recent preferential access for apparel exports to the United States have greatly driven the performance of these sectors for last few years.

In spite of all this, the second round of the global financial crunch, like most of the other small open economies, may hit the Swaziland economy and may undermine the profits that it has reaped till now, he said.

He even added that if steps are not taken to address country's reliance on preferential trade treatments, this would severely expose the economy to internal and external jolts and setbacks, and may lead to reversal of gains that the country has reaped so far.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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