Mbabane: The Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority (EIPA) in collaboration with the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Trade Related Project is on a drive to empower local MSMEs with key skills and approaches to make their businesses export ready.
In light of EIPA’s mandate to facilitate local and foreign trade and investment in Eswatini, the company will provide export readiness training to all interested parties in February and March 2021.
In a statement sent to this publication, the Head of Trade at EIPA, Mr Bongani Ntshangase said, Eswatini has over 50 000 MSME’s most of which are producing products that already meet standards for both regional and international export.
In the past, the knowledge required to run an export business has been a barrier to many MSMEs getting their products marketed and sold globally.
Nstshangase said the aim of the training is to get these businesses to understand the dynamics and complexities involved in expanding your business beyond the country’s borders and also what is required to get a product successfully sold in external markets.
“As a country our biggest challenge is not just production but the capacity to meet external market demands relating to volumes, branding and packaging, consistency of supply and the understanding of external market differences, i.e. differences between European markets from Asian markets. This issues will be dealt with in detail during the Export Readiness training.”
The training is aimed at, but not limited to, those who trade in sectors such as agriculture, food and beverages, handicrafts, textiles and clothing, leather, construction, furniture and electronics. Distributors, agents and middlemen who act on behalf of local producers are also encouraged to be part of the training.
“Although the training is open to all businesses, there is a special call for youth and women owned businesses to join the training sessions to advance their export capability”.
Ntshangase noted that in light of the economic challenges posed by COVID-19 and the generally subdued market conditions experienced globally, it is important that we look at new ways of marketing our trade capability to the world.
This training, in conjunction with the recently launched African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement will be a great advantage to many entrepreneurs who are looking at expanding into new markets. Platforms such as BuyEswatini.com also remain available to those who need a free and reliable online platform to digitally market their service offerings and goods. We remain committed to creating opportunities for local traders to grow into large global traders with an international influence. The time has come that we established multinational companies from Eswatini”
Training sessions will be carried out online. To receive more details on this opportunity, for registration and how MSMEs can be assisted with data costs for the online training, interested business owners can visit www.investeswatini.org.sz to register or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. In line with EIPA’s mandate to promote trade and investment, there is no cost to the training to encourage all those in need of the additional skills fair access to the opportunity.