Country Information - Swaziland
ECONOMIC BACKGROUNDIn this small landlocked economy, subsistence agriculture occupies more than 80% of the population. Manufacturing features a number of agroprocessing factories. Mining has declined in importance in recent years: diamond mines have shut down because of the depletion of easily accessible reserves; high-grade iron ore deposits were depleted by 1978; and health concerns have cut world demand for asbestos. Exports of soft drink concentrate, sugar, and wood pulp are the main earners of hard currency.
Surrounded by South Africa, except for a short border with Mozambique, Swaziland is heavily dependent on South Africa from which it receives nine-tenths of its imports and to which it sends more than two-thirds of its exports. Remittances from the Southern African Customs Union and Swazi workers in South African mines substantially supplement domestically earned income.
The government is trying to improve the atmosphere for foreign investment. Overgrazing, soil depletion, drought, and sometimes floods persist as problems for the future. Prospects for 2002 are strengthened by the country's status as a beneficiary of the US African Growth and Opportunity Act initiative. (Source: World Factbook, 2002)
Click here for Country Map [23kB]
BI-LATERAL TRADE OVERVIEWSwaziland is one of the relatively few Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries able to show an increasing trade surplus over the United States in recent years. In 2001, this trade surplus in favour of Swaziland had reached $ 53 million.
Swaziland's exports to the U.S. consist predominately of 'textiles and apparel', an export sector that has grown significantly in recent years. In 2001, over 70% of Swaziland's exports to the U.S. were from this category, with the majority consisting of AGOA-eligible apparel. Swaziland qualified for AGOA's 'Wearing Apparel' provisions on July 26, 2001, and is also classified as a 'Lesser Developed Country' for AGOA purposes. This means that it is allowed to utilise third country textile inputs (at least until September 30, 2002) in the production of apparel for duty-free export under AGOA.
Preliminary 2002 data indicates that approximately 85% of exports under the 'textile and apparel' category are AGOA-eligible, while year-on-year growth of said products has doubled between 1999 and 2001 and continues to grow strongly beyond (see link to Country Trade Profile below).
Swaziland's other export categories to the U.S. consist of 'miscellaneous manufactures' and 'agricultural products'.
Detailed bilateral trade data for this country, disaggregated by industry sector, can be accessed by following the link below. Aggregate data featuring all AGOA-eligible countries is updated on this website as soon as new data is published, including ranked AGOA / non-AGOA trade, aggregate trade by industry sector as well as the latest apparel trade data.
Click here for Detailed Trade Profile
21 AGOA FORUM 2013: Ethiopia will host the 2013 US-Africa AGOA Forum. AGOA.info has been informed that the Forum will not take place as envisaged on 28 June - 1 July, but at a later date yet to be determined. The theme for this year’s Forum is “Trade and Technology for sustained change”“
21 December 2012: Guinea-Bissau and Mali lose AGOA eligibility
APRIL 2013: Monthly data has been updated to include February 2013 data, quarterly includes full year 2012 data.
New US strategy towards Africa: White House Factsheet on new strategy towards Africa, plus overview of past US engagement with Africa. Click here for the file and this link for a summary article.
02 August 2012: Bill to extend third country fabric provision passes Congress Download the House of Reps. Bill at this link
South Sudan declared AGOA-eligible on 26 March 2012. Earlier, Cote d'Ivoire, Niger and Gambia declared AGOA eligible on 25 October 2011. See news item, presidential declaration and trade overview at this link (S Sudan) and here (others).
US GSP extended and GSP benefits to be applied retrospectively for the year 2011 since expiry of previous GSP. See AGOA.info legal documents section at the following link.
AGOA at 10: Reflections on US-Africa trade with a focus on SACU: Tralac Working Paper that can be downloaded at this
December 2010: The Democratic Republic of Congo loses its AGOA eligibility status. See proclamation here (pdf download available at this link
ITC investigation of textiles and apparel: Further details at this link
AGOA IV – Changes to AGOA explained
For disaggregated trade data covering each AGOA country, follow the relevant link in the Country Sections (left column) or click here.
For detailed AGOA maps click here