Skip to main content

Remarks by Vice Minister Alexander Tah-ray Yui at the Seminar on Exploring Investment Opportunities in the Kingdom of Eswatini

  • Data Source:Department of International Cooperation and Economic Affairs
  • Date:2022-10-24

Alexander Tah-ray Yui
 Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs 
 Republic of China (Taiwan) 
 October 24, 2022
(As Prepared for Delivery)

Good afternoon!


It is a pleasure and an honor to represent the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at today’s event. I very much appreciate this opportunity to gather with you all as the pandemic abates and border controls are relaxed. I also want to once again extend a very warm welcome to the delegation from Eswatini.


1.Current state of Eswatini’s economic development
As statistics and development trends increasingly demonstrate, Africa is set to be the next driver of the global economy. And the continent is already recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, its economic growth stood at 6.9 percent, higher than the global average of 6.1 percent. Furthermore, the IMF has forecast that from 2022 to 2026, Africa will continue to post vigorous and stable economic growth. Thanks to its abundance of natural resources and valuable minerals, as well as the power of its demographic dividend, the great potential for development among Africa’s markets has already attracted significant attention from global businesses.


Eswatini lies in southern Africa. Its mountainous terrain, temperate climate, and beautiful scenery have led the nation to be described as “Africa’s Switzerland.” Its population stands at about 1.2 million and it has a land area roughly half of that of Taiwan. In 2021, GDP per capita reached 4,215 US dollars, placing Eswatini in Africa’s top 10.


Eswatini’s agriculture, minerals, textile, and beverage production sectors have all developed solid foundations. The majority of the nation’s production goes to domestic and African markets. Admirably, despite being a landlocked nation, Eswatini maintains a comprehensive and dense system of external trade links through such networks as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the Southern African Customs Union, and the Southern African Development Community. These serve as niches and advantages for Eswatini to further develop its economy. In particular, Eswatini has positioned itself at the center of Africa’s burgeoning e-commerce market, and the outlook for development remains very bright indeed.


2.Taiwan-Eswatini economic and trade relations
Taiwan began to strengthen investment in Eswatini in 1996. We signed a Bilateral Investment Agreement and an Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income. Taiwanese investments in Eswatini have primarily focused on textiles, garments, and apparel, also expanding over the years to encompass the agricultural sector.


In 2018, the signing of the Taiwan-Eswatini Economic Cooperation Agreement granted Taiwanese producers even more favorable conditions for doing business. It expedited assistance to dispel any qualms about investing and provided more incentives. With the ECA having bestowed numerous benefits, bilateral trade reached nearly 18 million US dollars in 2021. In the future, by effectively leveraging the ECA and with the help of Eswatini’s comprehensive trade network, Taiwanese enterprises can use Eswatini as a hub, quickly and efficiently expanding the reach of their products into markets throughout the African continent.


3.Key points for today’s seminar
At today’s seminar, we will focus on Eswatini’s investment policy and incentive measures. We will also ask a number of companies involved in agricultural cooperation and with experience of doing business in Africa to share their experiences and know-how. This information is being provided to help today’s guests make accurate assessments of investment opportunities. I thank our speakers once again for sharing so generously.


4.Future prospects
Looking ahead at Taiwan-Eswatini relations and business cooperation, the government of Taiwan is full of confidence. We, too, will do our utmost to engage in close cooperation with Eswatini so as to ensure that business cooperation is mutually beneficial. In the wake of our ECA becoming effective, with the addition of the Regulations Governing Financial Assistance to Encourage Business Entrepreneurs to Invest in Countries Having Diplomatic Relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan), and with the help of Eswatini’s policies, Taiwan’s trade with Eswatini and Africa will grow faster and become more convenient than ever before. Taiwanese businesspeople can use Eswatini as a strategic hub for developing African markets in full cooperation with local partners. In addition to helping balance their global supply chains, this will also help them identify competitive new markets.


In closing, I thank you all for joining us today. Please feel very welcome to use the Q&A time we have later on to interact with the Eswatini delegation. With that, I wish this event the best of success, and I wish you all good health and success in your future endeavors. Thank you!