Mbabane: The launch of the Eswatini Virtual Trade Fair is in line with governments plan to create an export driven, private sector led economy.
The Virtual Trade Fare was launched by the Eswatini Investments Promotion Authority (EIPA) on September 22, 2020 and is set to kick off on November 2, 2020 with a Technology and Energy Sector Fair.
Speaking during the launch EIPA Head of Trade, Bongani Ntshangase emphasized the importance of utilizing trade and e-commerce as one of the drivers to restarting the economy of Eswatini in light of COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges.
“The launch of the Eswatini Virtual Trade Fair 2020/21 and “BuyEswatni.com,” are both critical steps to taking our brand to the world while stimulating regional and international trade opportunities,” said Ntshangase. He mentioned that this would also support the actions being taken by government to create an export-driven, private-sector led economy in Eswatini.
Worth noting is that Eswatini is a lower-middle-income country with a population of 1.1 million, and has a relatively diverse economy dominated by the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. Due to its small population, Eswatini has positioned itself as an export oriented economy, tapping into several free trade blocks and customs unions. Export-oriented industries drive the economy and provide 80 percent of GDP.
Ntshangase noted that trade reports have highlighted that in South Africa alone, the e-commerce market is projected to reach E65.8bn by the end of this year with an approximate spend per user averaging E3000.
Such growth for a neighboring country according to Ntshangase demonstrates the importance for business in Eswatini to display its capability to supply quality goods, while also harnessing the promising e-commerce growth trends outside the region.
In addition to hosting the Eswatini Virtual Trade Fair into 2021, the “BuyEswatini.com” platform will continue to operate as a permanent virtual catalogue of goods and services offered by traders from all over Eswatini.
The site is intended to make local products accessible to all those within and beyond our borders at the click of a button, exposing local goods and services to multiple markets. The site allows visitors to search for specific products per category, view product specification and pictures, compare prices, while also accessing more details from those selling the goods.
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