Capital Investment by Companies Increases by 51%

By Phiwa Sikhondze

The 2023 Company Survey Report compiled by the Ministry of Economic Planning & Development in collaboration with the Central Bank of Eswatini has revealed that companies in the country increased their capital investment by 51.2 percent year-on-year to reach E2.580 billion in 2022.

The report attributes the sizable investments to entities in the ‘manufacturing’ and ‘utility’ sectors.

The report, which is based on a survey of 121 companies from various sectors of the economy, also revealed that the investments were broadly on ‘equipment & machinery’, ‘buildings’, ‘vehicles’, and ‘software’.

Fifty (50) companies reported to have invested in ‘machinery & equipment’, thirty-seven (37) companies reported investment in ‘buildings’, twenty-even (27) companies reported investment in vehicles while 22 companies recorded investment in intangible assets – mainly software.

“Data collected from the surveyed entities reflected that investment increased significantly in 2022 relative to 2021,” the report states.

This surge in investment, therefore, had a positive impact on the structure of the economy in terms of its contribution to GDP.  The survey found that 73.6 percent (89 companies) reported that they performed positively in the review period, 20.7 percent (25 companies) recorded negative performance, and 5.8 percent (7 companies) reported flat growth.

The positive performance was mainly driven by sectors such as ‘manufacturing’, ‘financial services’, ‘tourism-related activities’, ‘wholesale & retail’, ‘ICT’ and ‘professional & administration services’. On the other hand, sectors such as ‘construction’, ‘agriculture & and forestry’ and ‘transport & and storage experienced negative performance.

The report also highlights the challenges and opportunities faced by the companies in the review period. The top three challenges cutting across all sectors include regulatory framework, government service delivery, and rising input costs. On a positive note, surveyed entities also reported opportunities such as optimizing cost-effective efficiencies, expansions on existing lines, tapping into new markets, and invention into new products.

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