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Textile & clothing sectors recover from slump

Jul '07
Statistics made available by the Central Bank of Swaziland's Annual Report shows that this year, the country's Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has increased by 11.8 percent.

This was despite major challenges faced by most sectors. In the past years, continued market slide of the country's textile and clothing industry had proved to be the prime cause of decline in total FDI. A total slump of E140 million in FDI stock was recorded within the services sector itself.

But the picture has improved somewhat. Apart from the increase in FDI, the manufacturing sector also recorded a 6.1 percent growth.

Last year in March, five companies in the textile and clothing sector had shut shop with those remaining scaling down costs by retrenching employees.

However, the country has broadened its drive towards further diversification of exports, generated an even more investor-friendly climate and intensified promotional campaigns.

The establishment of the Swaziland Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Programme (SWEEP) by TechnoServe was made possible because of the development of an Investor Roadmap. USAID extended financial assistance to SWEEP with the aim of developing SMEs to achieve economic growth and create more jobs.

Commenting on the progress made so far, Enterprise and Employment Minister Lutfo Dlamini said this ability to overcome past problems is the result of the country's unconquerable spirit. He urged foreign investors to regard Swaziland as a country with good investment prospects.

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