THE GRAVY TRAIN MUST STOP
Swaziland is endowed with the wisdom of associating itself with the global village in all aspects but more importantly with the United nations and many relevant international institutions such the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for international trade, together with AGOA of the United States , The African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and the EPAS of the European Union, COMESA embracing the Eastern and Southern African trading countries and the Southern African Customs Union(SACU).
The global relations networks the country has embraced financially are; The World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank (ADfB).
Our association with these international organisations, has made it possible for all products we produce to have international market access in some places with reduced tariffs and in others without duty at all.
Other agreements allow us to have a preferred price for the goods we produce that are better than the world market prices.
This has made it possible for some foreign direct investors (FDI) to come and invest in Swaziland because those goods produced in Swaziland enjoy duty free and preferred prices.
This is one of the characteristics that the country enjoys by being members and signatory to international market and trade blocks like AGOA, ACP-EU, EPAS COMESA, etc.
We produce many goods like beef, timber, textiles and apparel, of course there is room for many other products which we have not yet taken advantage of.
With all the goods we are producing for export, the IMF and World Bank look at all member states’ economies with a view of advising the governments, and assess their economic status from time to time.
This is based on the international benchmarking of the global economies formula that categorises Swaziland as a middle income country. In short, their analysis is that as a country, we are better than many other states in the region, in Africa and even globally.
Basically, we should not be having the kind of poverty and levels of unemployment we have if the resources that this country is able to produce are distributed fairly, targeted at the correct priorities, sensitive to fiscal prudence and discipline.
When asked what it is that we are not doing right, they say among other things the wealth our economy is able to generate is skewedly distributed, where the majority, together with people-focused priorities, receive a pittance of the budget and few and non-priority projects are given the lion’’s share.