Mauritius: High Commissioner of Eswatini Calls On Minister Maneesh Gobin, Discusses Economic Ties Within African Continent

Port Louis — His Excellency Mlondi Solomon Dlamini, the new High Commissioner of the Kingdom of Eswatini with residence in Maputo, Mozambique, presented his Letters of Credence to H.E. Prithvirajsing Roopun, President of the Republic, on 27 March 2024. He also paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister, Honourable Pravind Jugnauth, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Honourable Maneesh Gobin.

The meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade provided an opportunity to briefly review bilateral relations between Mauritius and Eswatini. Both sides, inter-alia, explored avenues to strengthen the economic ties between the two countries, particularly stressing the potential of the African Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in boosting trade and economic integration within Africa. Minister Gobin highlighted the AfCFTA's potential to add value to African economies and promote local transformation industries and business linkages through regional supply chains.

They also discussed about the security situation in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, recognising the crucial importance of maintaining stability. Both sides emphasized that peace and prosperity were essential elements for enhancing regional cooperation and development, and expressed their respective commitments in this regard.

Eswatini, which shares its borders with South Africa and Mozambique, has a population of 1.2 million, with a per capita GDP of $3,958 (2021). Slightly more than half of the economy is concentrated in services, and industry, particularly manufacturing, comprises another third.

Mauritius and Eswatini have signed bilateral agreements with regards to air access and bilateral air services, mutual exemptions of visa requirements and double taxation avoidance.

Trade connections between Mauritius and Eswatini remain limited, with Mauritius' exports to Eswatini averaging Rs 100 million annually in recent years. These exports primarily comprise textile products such as cotton yarn, men's jackets, and t-shirts.

In addition to trade, there are investment prospects in Eswatini, particularly in sectors such as renewable energy, agro-processing, ICT, High-end fashion garments manufacturing, tourism and healthcare.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade

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