Eswatini's AGOA exports at over $8m
The country’s performance in AGOA was highlighted by Tammy Dlamini, who is the Senior Country Representative (Eswatini and Angola) for the USAID Africa Trade and Investment Southern Africa Buy-in Activity.
In his presentation it was noted that the country’s exports to the United States (US) in 2022 was over E1.4 billion, while in 2021 it was E669 164 496 and E387 702 611.40 in 2021.
Dlamini said the US was a big market worth taking advantage of. He said Eswatini was the United States’ 163rd largest supplier of goods imports in 2019. He mentioned that US goods imports from Eswatini totaled US$16 million in 2019, up 19.1 per cent (US$3 million) from 2018, but down 85.5 per cent from 2009.
He stated that the US goods trade surplus with Eswatini was US$4 million in 2019, an 81.1 per cent decrease (US$16 million) over 2018.
Dlamini highlighted that the top import categories (two-digit HS) in 2019 were; sugar (US$10 million), preserved food (other fruit, nut) (US$2 million), optical and medical instruments (US$2 million), machinery (US$1 million) and electrical machinery (US$296 000). The US total imports of agricultural products from Eswatini totaled US$12 million in 2019. The leading category was; raw beet and cane sugar (US$10 million).
On another note, Dlamini revealed that local exporters stood a chance to benefit from the USAID Africa Trade and Investment Southern Africa Buy-in Activity grants ranging from US$100 000 - US$500 000. This is a four-year programme (October 2022 – June 2026) and its two key objectives are to increase agricultural exports from nine targeted Southern African countries to South Africa (SA) and also to boost sustainable use of AGOA opportunities in the agriculture and agribusiness sector by 10 targeted Southern African countries.
He highlighted that the 10 target countries in the programme are: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.
He said in order to benefit from the grant; applicant contribution from prospective partners was required to be a cash investment to the activity of equal to or greater than the value of the USAID Africa Trade and Investment Programme’s grant.
He said eligible applicants were trade promotion service providers, buyers, import agents, export agents, export firms, wholesalers, retailers, trade platforms, e-commerce firms, business service organisations, industry/sector organisations, trade and other private sector associations legally registered to operate in SA and elsewhere in the region and the US.
He said eligible activities were novel ideas and innovative business models in agricultural trade activities, supply chain management, business services and other support services, defined above that help to close export deals.
He stated that proposed activities must include a South African or American buyer partner and demonstrate an increase of trade to SA or the US (in the case of South Africa it must involve US exports.) He encouraged interested traders to apply via this link: www.atiprogram.com