Eswatini Looking To Amend Special Economic Zones Act

By Phiwa Sikhondze

The Kingdom of Eswatini is taking steps to enhance its economic development and diversification by partnering with the Republic of China (Taiwan) to operationalize its Special Economic Zones (SEZ) programme, a strategic move aimed at attracting a surge of investors in the coming years.

The SEZ programme was launched with the enactment of the SEZ Act, which designated the Royal Science and Technology Park (RSTP) as SEZ developers. The SEZ Act also established a SEZ Committee to scrutinize applications from investors seeking to operate within the SEZ parks.

The SEZ programme aims to attract foreign and domestic investment, create jobs, increase exports, and foster innovation in key sectors.

The International Integrated Systems, Inc (IISI), a prominent consultancy from Taiwan, yesterday, presented a detailed report pinpointing key areas for enhancement to enhance investor appeal. During the presentation, Jerry Wang, Director of the International Division at IISI, explained the major role of special economic zones in catalyzing economic development.

Wang emphasized the benefits that an upgraded SEZ framework could bring to Eswatini, including increased foreign and domestic investments, job creation, income generation, export growth, industrial development, skills enhancement, and technological transfer. In his presentation, he highlighted the need for transparent legal processes and robust organizational structures within the SEZ Committee to foster investment promotion and advance the development of the Royal Science and Technology Park (RSTP).

The RSTP, as the lead SEZ developer, expressed its appreciation to the IISI Systems team, the EPZA, and the Government of Taiwan for their intensive efforts and support in the SEZ programme.

Khanyisile Dlamini, representing the Chief Executive Officer of RSTP, echoed the sentiments expressed by the Taiwanese consultant, emphasizing the imperative nature of amending the SEZ Act to enhance legal transparency and fortify the organizational dynamics of the SEZ Committee.

“The findings that the SEZ Act needs significant amendment to increase legal transparency and strengthen the organization and functions of the SEZ Committee. The review of the Act was proposed to include the review of the roles and responsibilities of key players in the SEZ programme which include developers, operators and implementation agencies,” she said. The RSTP also requested the continued support of the stakeholders in the implementation of the SEZ programme, which will require legal, institutional, and operational reforms. The RSTP expressed its confidence that the SEZ programme will make Eswatini a pioneering global investment destination, in line with Vis

Share With Friends